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Court rejects Lockerbie bomber’s appeal against conviction in Scotland

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A court in Scotland has rejected an appeal by the family of a Libyan man found guilty of bombing an airliner over the town of Lockerbie over 30 years ago.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi – who died in 2012 – always maintained his innocence, and his relatives have been trying to clear his name.

Their lawyers questioned the reliability of some of the evidence used to convict Megrahi, and argued that the disclosure of certain documents could have led to a different verdict.

But this was rejected by five of Scotland’s most senior judges.

A total of 270 people died in the bombing of the Pan Am aircraft, making it the deadliest terror attack in British history

Megrahi is the only person to have been convicted over the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988.

All 259 passengers and crew on board the flight were killed, along with 11 people in Lockerbie who died when the wreckage fell onto their homes.

Last month the US announced new charges against a Libyan man who is accused of making the bomb.

Abu Agila Mohammad Masud has been charged with terrorism-related crimes, and prosecutors say they will seek his extradition to stand trial in the US.

Megrahi was found guilty of playing a central role in the bombing in 2001 after the trial at Camp Zeist, and lost the first appeal against his conviction the following year.

He abandoned a second appeal shortly before he was released from prison in 2009 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.

He returned to Libya, where he died in 2012.

His family continued their efforts to ensure a further appeal against his conviction, and the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission referred his the case back to the courts last year.

A written judgment rejecting the appeal was delivered by Scotland’s most senior judge, Lord Carloway, the Lord Justice General.

He said they had rejected the argument that the trial court had come to a verdict that no reasonable court could have reached.

“On the evidence at trial, a reasonable jury, properly directed, would have been entitled to return a guilty verdict,” the judgement says.

The five judges also rejected the second grounds of appeal, that the Crown failed to disclose material which would have created a real prospect of a different verdict.


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