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Scottish Law Chief Denounces Convicted Lockerbie Bomber's Posted Documents

Scotland's chief prosecutor has denounced convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi for posting the first of hundreds of documents onto his Web site. Megrahi - who is terminally ill with cancer - says the documents will prove his innocence in the 1988 attack that killed 270 people.

Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only man convicted of bombing Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, posted the 353-pages of legal arguments on the Internet Friday.

The documents come from an appeal against his 2001 conviction, which was dropped just before he was released from a Scottish jail on compassionate grounds last month. He is dying of prostate cancer.

One of his Scottish lawyers, Tony Kelly, says this first batch of documents is what would have been submitted if an appeal had gone forward. They relate to the identification process and other evidence the prosecution had used to link Megrahi to the bombing in the original trial held at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands in 2001.

"I think the tragedy is he had to compromise upon the attempts to clear his name in order to smooth the path home to Libya," said Kelly. "Now that does not mean to say that he gives up on the fact that he is innocent. He protested that even when he was leaving and he continues to do so."

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission had found enough doubt surrounding some evidence presented in that trial to recommend the case merited an appeal.

Scotland's most senior prosecutor Elish Angiolini maintains a court is the only appropriate forum for determining guilt or innocence and she says she deplores Megrahi's efforts to put his information out into the public domain via the Internet.

She says the release of such material in this manner represents a selective view of the evidence in the media.

Megrahi's release in August and the festive welcome he received upon returning to his native Libya drew international outrage and strong protest from U.S. and other world leaders.

The former Libyan intelligence agent was sentenced to a minimum of 27 years in prison by a specially convened Scottish Court in The Netherlands in 2001, but he always proclaimed his innocence.