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Sir Menzies Campbell defends Lockerbie bombing judges

Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell has condemned the "repeated and unfounded criticism" of judges who presided over the Lockerbie bombing trial of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was found guilty of the killing of 270 people after the Pan Am flight exploded at 31,000ft on 21 December 1988.

Sir Menzies said the judges had "unquestioned integrity".

One of the most unsavoury elements of this case is the repeated and unfounded criticism of the judges who sat in the trial, and those who heard the subsequent appeal against conviction.

The judges by convention are unable to respond publicly to these criticisms, which imply that they were somehow part of a conspiracy.

In truth, they were all experienced in criminal law and of unquestioned integrity.

It is a curious feature of this case that those who argued most vehemently for a special court to be set up to deal with the case are now among the most vociferous critics of its verdict.

– Sir Menzies Campbell

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Prosecutor reaffirms Megrahi guilt over Lockerbie

Scotland's top prosecutor has reaffirmed Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's guilt in the killing of 270 people in the Lockerbie bombing and has pledged to track down his accomplices.

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland said no Crown Office investigator or prosecutor has raised a concern about the evidence in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 26 years ago today.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi died in 2012. Credit: Reuters

Megrahi's part in the bombing has been called into question in a series of books, documentaries and testimony to the Scottish Parliament.

A petition seeking "Justice For Megrahi", backed by politicians and family members of some victims, remains on Holyrood's books two years after al-Megrahi's death.

But in an anniversary address to relatives, Mr Mulholland said his investigation "remains on the evidence, and not on speculation and supposition".

Two police officers sacked for sending obscene images

Two officers from Scotland Yard were sacked. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Two police officers from Scotland Yard's Diplomatic Protection Group have been sacked for sending obscene images from their mobile phones.

The pair, aged 34 and 36, lost their jobs after admitting gross misconduct and being found guilty of a breach of integrity by force bosses.

The constables were dismissed without notice after the misconduct hearing on Thursday. They were not named by the Metropolitan Police.

Castro sets up potential Obama meeting at summit

Cuban President Raul Castro has confirmed he will participate in the Washington-backed Summit of the Americas in Panama in April, potentially setting up his first meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama since the two countries agreed on Wednesday to re-establish diplomatic ties.

Cameron pays tribute to Tory MEP Philip Bradbourn

Prime Minister David Cameron has paid tribute to Tory MEP Philip Bradbourn, who has died at the age of 63.

Mr Bradbourn, who had served in the European Parliament since 1999, was diagnosed with bowel cancer shortly after being re-elected in May and died last night.

David Cameron said Philip Bradbourn had a Credit: Ludlow Conservatives/PA Wire

Mr Cameron paid tribute to the West Midlands MEP's long career in public and political service, for which he was awarded the OBE in 1994.

Philip's dedication to public service was truly admirable; he was a well-respected and effective MEP. In a political career which spanned over four decades, he showed great passion in serving both the party and his constituents. My thoughts are with Philip's family at this sad time.

– David Cameron

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Keith Vaz: Immigration system is in 'intensive care'

The troubled British immigration system has "moved from A&E into intensive care", according to the chairman of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee.

Keith Vaz said there were 89,000 missing migrants and a backlog of 343,000 visa applications at the Home Office.

Keith Vaz told ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener that it was up to politicians including the Prime Minister to take action on exit checks for migrants.

US releases four Guantanamo prisoners back to Afghanistan

Four prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay for more than a decade have been sent home by the US to Afghanistan.

The transfer is part of a slow-moving attempt by the Obama administration to close the Cuba prison facility. Credit: Reuters/Michelle Shephard

The men were flown by the US military to Kabul overnight and released to Afghan authorities, the Pentagon said.

The prisoner transfer is the first of its kind to the country since 2009.

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Police cordon around house where body was found

Police have cordoned off an area of Hillfield Street, Gateshead, where a woman's body was found last night.

A police community support officer guards the cordon on Hillfield Street, Bensham

Officers found the body of the 42-year-old woman inside a house on the street in Bensham at about 8:30pm on Friday, 19th December. Her death is being treated as suspicious.

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