News / Africa

    Family of Lockerbie Bomber Tries to Clear His Name

    FILE - Convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset  al-Megrahi, the only man ever convicted in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, listens as he is told the appeal of his conviction was turned down, at Camp Zeist, The Netherlands.
    FILE - Convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the only man ever convicted in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, listens as he is told the appeal of his conviction was turned down, at Camp Zeist, The Netherlands.
    Reuters
    Relatives of the late Libyan intelligence officer convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing have launched a bid to clear his name, a Scottish legal body said on Thursday.
     
    Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was the only person ever convicted over the attack on Pan Am flight 103 in which 270 people died.
     
    Most of the victims of the explosion over Lockerbie in Scotland were Americans on their way home from Europe for Christmas.
     
    Eleven people died on the ground as the New York-bound jet plunged from the sky after a bomb exploded in its hold some 38 minutes after leaving London's Heathrow airport.
     
    Jailed for life after being found guilty of murder in 2001, Megrahi was released by Scotland's government on compassionate grounds eight years later after being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and died in Libya in 2012.

    FILE - Lockerbie airline bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, left, who was released from prison on compassionate grounds because he was terminally ill, boards an airplane accompanied by Libyan officials at Glasgow airport, Glasgow, Scotland, Aug. 20, 2009.FILE - Lockerbie airline bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, left, who was released from prison on compassionate grounds because he was terminally ill, boards an airplane accompanied by Libyan officials at Glasgow airport, Glasgow, Scotland, Aug. 20, 2009.
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    FILE - Lockerbie airline bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, left, who was released from prison on compassionate grounds because he was terminally ill, boards an airplane accompanied by Libyan officials at Glasgow airport, Glasgow, Scotland, Aug. 20, 2009.
    FILE - Lockerbie airline bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, left, who was released from prison on compassionate grounds because he was terminally ill, boards an airplane accompanied by Libyan officials at Glasgow airport, Glasgow, Scotland, Aug. 20, 2009.

    The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) said it had received an appeal from Megrahi's family to review his conviction.
     
    “If we believe that there may have been a miscarriage of justice, we will then send it to the Court of Appeal,” said Chris Reddick, director of corporate services at the SCCRC.
     
    A previous appeal against conviction was refused by Scotland's High Court in 2002.
     
    A year later, Megrahi applied to the SCCRC for a review of his conviction and his case was referred to the High Court for a new appeal in 2007.
     
    But he abandoned that appeal in 2009, and ministers in both Scotland and London have always denied rumors that he did so as part of a deal for his release.
     
    Megrahi always protested his innocence in the bombing, although in 2003, former Libyan dictator Muammar Gadhafi accepted Libya's responsibility for it and paid compensation to the victims' families.

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