DAVID Cameron has dismissed calls for a fresh inquiry into the conviction of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi in the wake of his death.
The Prime Minister also reiterated his stance that the Libyan terrorist should never have been released from jail on compassionate grounds nearly three years ago.
Former Libyan intelligence officer Megrahi was sentenced to life in prison for the 1988 bombing of a US airliner over the Scottish town which claimed 270 lives.
He was later diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and controversially released from prison in August 2009 with an estimated three months to live.
But Megrahi, who always proclaimed his innocence, proved medical experts wrong and finally lost his cancer battle in Tripoli yesterday at the age of 60, his son said.
The Libyan’s death sparked renewed calls from campaigners for an independent inquiry into his conviction, with many raising doubts about his guilt.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Government said the case remained a live criminal investigation.
Robert Forrester, from the Justice for Megrahi group, said: “The Crown and successive governments have, for years, acted to obstruct any attempts to investigate how the conviction of Mr al-Megrahi came about.
“Some in the legal and political establishments may well be breathing a sigh of relief now that Mr al-Megrahi has died. This would be a mistake.”
The group, which is seeking to have Megrahi’s conviction quashed, is supported by Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the bombing, as well as Nobel Peace Prize Winner Desmond Tutu.
But Mr Cameron moved quickly to brand a new inquiry as unnecessary.
“I’ve always been clear he should never have been released from prison,” he said. “I’m very clear that the court case was properly done and properly dealt with.”
The Prime Minister said thoughts should be with the people who died in the “appalling terrorist act” and the suffering their families have endured.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond insisted the Lockerbie case remained a live criminal investigation and that authorities would rigorously pursue any new lines of inquiry.
“Mr Megrahi’s death ends one chapter of the Lockerbie case, but it does not close the book,” he said, adding that the Crown’s position has always been that Mr Megrahi acted with others.
Megrahi’s funeral was expected to take place at Tripoli’s main cemetery later today, according to a Libyan news agency.