Saturday, March 25, 2023

Lockerbie bomber family lose appeal against conviction | News from Libya

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Al-Megrahi’s family and some relatives of the Scottish victims have always doubted his guilt and say the truth is yet to be revealed.

The family of Libyan Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people, have not overturned their conviction after losing a posthumous appeal in a Scottish court on Friday .

Al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer who died in 2012, was jailed for life in 2001 after being convicted of murdering 243 passengers, 16 crew members and 11 residents of Lockerbie in the deadliest attack in British history.

Five judges of the Court of Criminal Appeal in Scotland dismissed the appeal against his conviction.

Al-Megrahi’s son Ali said the family were heartbroken by Friday’s ruling and tasked their legal team with appealing to the UK Supreme Court, said Aamer Anwar, the lawyer for the al-Megrahi family in a statement.

“He has maintained his father’s innocence and is determined to keep his promise to erase his name and that of Libya,” Anwar said.

Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988 en route from London to New York, carrying mostly Americans on their way home for Christmas.

After years of disputes and sanctions against Libya, al-Megrahi and a second man, Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima, were tried in 2000 in the Netherlands under Scottish law.

Al-Megrahi was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum jail term of 27 years, while Fahima was found not guilty.

Al-Megrahi, who has denied any involvement in the attack, died in Libya in 2012 after being released three years earlier by the Scottish government on humanitarian grounds following a diagnosis of phased prostate cancer terminal.

Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi accepted responsibility for his country in the 2003 bombing and paid compensation to the families of the victims, but did not admit to personally ordering the attack.

However, al-Megrahi’s family and some relatives of the Scottish victims have always doubted his guilt and say the truth is yet to be revealed.

Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, right, is escorted by a police officer to the court in Tripoli, Libya, February 18, 1992 [Jockel Fink/AP]


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