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The UK relatives of families killed in the Pan Am 103 event have lodged an objection with BAFTA over its nomination in the current affairs category for the documentary "The Lockerbie Bomber- Sent Home to Die", claiming that the film's "facile acceptance of the theory that the Lockerbie bomb had been carried on an Air Malta flight (KM180) was actionable."
The film drew criticism from Dr Jim Swire and MSP Christine Grahame at the time of its broadcast amidst claims that its central thesis had already been challenged in civil court, resulting in an out of court settlement to Air Malta from Granada TV. Grahame issued a press statement at the time claiming the film was "deeply misleading."
This morning the UK families have written to BAFTA and challenged the investigative merit of the film, which they say "could not be regarded as investigative journalism", and have said "it will not look like an honourable move" for the programme to be given recognition by BAFTA.
"May I point out that this programme was based upon the official version of how the Lockerbie bombing came about and who was responsible, without any apparent attempt to question what we, as citizens, are expected to accept from 'the authorities'. As such, it seems that this programme could not be regarded as investigative journalism, which one would have expected from a documentary on such a subject," a letter to BAFTA sent this morning read.
"Indeed I had occasion to write to STV about this programme pointing out that its facile acceptance of the theory that the Lockerbie bomb had been carried on an Air Malta flight (KM180) was actionable."
Swire points out that the central thesis of the Crown case alleged that a bomb had been loaded onto an Air Malta aircraft at Luqa airport. However no evidence to this effect was produced at the trial of Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, and the inability of the Crown to support this theory was described as "a major difficulty for the Crown case" by the Zeist judges.
When a Granada TV documentary repeated the claim, Air Malta sued Granada TV. Air Malta's lawyers demonstrated that there were no bags on the flight which went on to Pan Am 103 or 103A, and Granada settled out of court.
"I am a relative of one of the Lockerbie murder victims and I would strongly object to BAFTA giving recognition to the STV programme," Swire wrote.
"Obstructed as we are by those in official positions who have a great deal to lose if the truth of this gross deception becomes public, we are involved in a search simply for the truth as to who murdered our loved ones, and why they were not prevented from doing so in the face of all the warnings extant back in 1988.
"Of course STV have every right to air whatever programmes they choose within the law, but to give your accolade to them for this programme would be detrimental to the interests of those who still need to know who really murdered their families, and why they were not prevented from doing so.
"In this search we have the support of human rights within the law, as well as, surely, the common humanity of ordinary people to support our right to these truths. When the truth comes out, as eventually it always does, it will not look like an honourable move to have given recognition to such a programme.
"BAFTA (Scotland) might give an evening of joy to STV, we have a lifetime to face without those we loved, and we intend to get to the real facts, to which we have every right."
The Firm has contacted BAFTA Scotland for their input to this story.