Family of Lockerbie bomber lose posthumous appeal against his conviction
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[January 15, 2021]
By Michael Holden
LONDON (Reuters) - The family of Libyan
Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the only person found guilty of the 1988
Lockerbie plane bombing which killed 270, have failed to overturn his
conviction after losing a posthumous appeal in a Scottish court on
Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer who died in 2012, was jailed for
life in 2001 after being found guilty of the murder of 243 passengers,
16 crew and 11 residents of Lockerbie in the deadliest militant attack
in British history.
Five judges at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Scotland refused the
appeal against his conviction.
Megrahi's son Ali said the family were heartbroken by Friday's ruling
and had instructed their legal team to launch an appeal to the UK
Supreme Court, Aamer Anwar, the lawyer for the Megrahi family said in a
"He maintained his fatherís innocence and is determined to fulfil the
promise he made to clear his name and that of Libya," Anwar said.
Pam Am Flight 103 was blown up 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 wrangling and sanctions against Libya, Megrahi and a
second man Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima went on trial in 2000 in the
Netherlands under Scottish law. Megrahi was convicted and sentenced to
life in prison, with a minimum jail term of 27 years, while Fahima was
found not guilty.
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A rose lies on the base of the main headstone in the Lockerbie Air
Disaster Memorial garden in Lockerbie, Scotland May 20, 2012. Abdel
Basset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the 1988 bombing of a
PanAm flight over Lockerbie, died of cancer on Sunday aged 60,
leaving many questions on the attack and its aftermath unanswered.
Megrahi, who denied involvement in the attack, died in Libya in 2012
after being released three years earlier by the Scottish government
on compassionate grounds following a diagnosis of terminal prostate
Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi accepted his country's
responsibility for the bombing in 2003 and paid compensation to the
victims' families, but did not admit personally ordering the attack.
However, Megrahi's family and some relatives of the Scottish victims
have always doubted his guilt and say the truth has yet to come out.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by William James)
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