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Lockerbie families fight for Megrahi appeal

al-Megrahi died of cancer in May 2012 Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

A hearing will take place today to decide whether relatives of Lockerbie bombing victims could pursue an appeal on behalf of the only man convicted of the atrocity.

A group of British relatives maintain they have a "legitimate interest" in trying to get the case of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi back before a court for a full appeal.

They believe the Libyan, who died protesting his innocence in his home country in 2012, was the victim of a miscarriage of justice and say his conviction should be overturned.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC), which is once again looking at Megrahi's conviction, has petitioned the High Court asking for guidance on whether members of the victims' families can take forward such an appeal on the convicted man's behalf.

A hearing on the issue will take place before three judges at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh today.

Megrahi was found guilty of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over the south of Scotland on December 21 1988 in which 270 people were killed.

He died after abandoning his second appeal, which itself came after the SCCRC referred the case back to senior High Court judges in 2007.

Since June last year, the SCCRC has been considering a fresh, joint application from members of Megrahi's family and the Justice for Megrahi campaign group, which includes relatives of British victims of the bombing, to review the conviction.

Aamer Anwar, solicitor for the Megrahi family and 26 relatives of Lockerbie victims, said:

On June 5 2014, the Commission received an application for a further review of Mr Al-Megrahi's conviction from my office.

This application was lodged on behalf of two separate groups: Family members of the deceased victims of the Lockerbie bombing and members of Mr Al-Megrahi's family.

Our legal team will argue today that the Commission is premature with their petition, as the role of the SCCRC is to investigate whether there has been a miscarriage of justice.

When Pan Am flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988, 270 people from 21 countries perished. It remains the worst terrorist atrocity ever committed in the UK but the consequences are still being felt 26 years later.

The family members of the Lockerbie victims instructing us maintain that they have as much a right to pursue an appeal as the Megrahi family because they also believe the wrong person was convicted.

The families hope this matter can be resolved as finality in the Megrahi case is unlikely ever to be achieved unless a referral is made to the Appeal Court.

– Aamer Anwar

Victims' families challenge Lockerbie conviction

270 people were killed in the attack on Pan-Am Flight 107. Credit: ITV Border

Representatives of some of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing are challenging the conviction of the man found guilty of blowing up the flight.

Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted of causing the deaths of the 270 people killed in the attack on Pan-Am Flight 107, which happened in 1988.

Al-Megrahi died three years ago. Credit: ITV Border

But some of the families believe he was innocent, and have been at the High Court in Edinburgh to pursue an appeal against his conviction.

Al-Megrahi died three years ago and the court is being asked to decide if legal proceedings could continue without his family's involvement.


Full report: Megrahi campaigners meet investigators

Campaigners who believe the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al Megrahi didn't get a fair trial have met the man in charge of the investigation.

Members of the Justice for Megrahi campaign want to reopen the inquiry into Megrahi's conviction.

They think that many aspects of the orginal investigation were mishandled and want the former chief constable of Dumfries and Galloway Police Pat Shearer to look into their allegations.

Matthew Taylor has this report:

  1. Matthew Taylor

Lockerbie bomber campaigners to meet with investigators

Campaigners who believe the Lockerbie bomber Al Megrahi didn't get a fair trial are to meet with the man in charge of the investigation.

Former chief constable of Dumfries and Galloway Police Pat Shearer will speak to members of the Justice for Megrahi campaign in Dumfries today.


Megrahi death - 'there should be no celebration'

The Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats has commented following reports that al-Megrahi has died at home in Libya, after a long battle with cancer.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, 59, was sentenced to life in prison for the 1988 bombing of a US airliner which claimed 270 lives.

Although this is an end to a chapter of one of the worst terrorist events in Scotland there should be no celebration that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has died. Instead it should act as spur to establish the facts, including whether crucial forensic evidence was withheld from the trial.

– Willie Rennie, Scottish Liberal Democrats Leader

Labour Leader apologises for al-Megrahi's release

The Leader of the Scottish Labour Party has apologised to the victims of the Lockerbie bombing for al-Megrahi's early release from prison. He was speaking following reports that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has died at his home in Libya.

Three years ago the Scottish government chose to release him on the pretext he had just three months to live. That was an insult to the victims. At this moment let me, on behalf of the people of Scotland, apologise to the families of all the victims of the Lockerbie bombing, for his early release."

– Johann Lamont, Scottish Labour Leader
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