Relatives of the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing are to make a fresh bid to clear his name. More than two years after his death, they claim to have evidence Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was pressured by ministers to drop an appeal against his conviction. Joe Pike has the details.
The family of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, along with 24 relatives of Lockerbie bombing victims, have today launched a posthumous appeal against the Libyan's convictions.
It marks the latest step in a protracted legal battle since Megrahi's conviction at a special court in the Netherlands in 2001.
- May 2000: Megrahi and another Libyan, Al Amin Khalifa Fahima, begin trial at a special Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands.
- January 2001: Megrahi convicted of murdering 270 people, Fahima is acquitted.
- January 2002: First appeal, heard in front of five judges, is unsuccessful - Megrahi begins a life sentence in a Glasgow prison.
- June 2007: Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission (SCRCC) sends case to the High Court for appeal, saying Megrahi "may have suffered a miscarriage of justice".
- August 2009: Megrahi released from prison on compassionate grounds after doctors say he will die from cancer within months.
- May 2012: Megrahi dies at home in Tripoli.
- June 2014: Megrahi's family and relatives of victim announce a new appeal is being sent to the SCCRC.
Lawyers appealing the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi for the Lockerbie bombing say they have evidence the Libyan was put under pressure not to pursue an earlier appeal.
Mr Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds in 2009, before dying at home in Libya in 2012.
Law firm Aamer Anwar & Co say Mr Megrahi was pressurised into "dropping his appeal as a condition of his immediate release" - a claim both the British and Scottish governments have denied.
A lawyer representing relatives of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi said he is sending three volumes of papers as part of the appeal against the Libyan's conviction for the Lockerbie bombing.
Speaking at a press conference in Glasgow, Aamer Anwar said the documents would now be delivered to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission for consideration, according to reports from STV.
The appeal is backed by long-time campaigner Dr Jim Swire and 23 other British relatives of victims of the bombing, along with six members of Mr Megrahi's family, who are not being identified for safety reasons.
ITN Scotland correspondent Debi Edward is at the press conference announcing an appeal against the conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
Mr Megrahi's family say they are seeking justice for the victims of the atrocity, as well as for Mr Megrahi himself.
The family of Megrahi are behind this attempt for a new appeal and say they want justice for the 271 victims - includes Megrahi #lockerbie
Lawyers are trying to relaunch an appeal that Mr Megrahi had prepared prior to his release from jail in 2009 on compassionate grounds.
They aim to resurrect the appeal which Megrahi dropped before his release on compassionate grounds #lockerbie
Relatives of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, have launched an appeal to posthumously clear his name.
Mr Megrahi was convicted of the bombing but released from a Scottish prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds as he had cancer. He later died in Libya in 2012.
Lawyer Aamer Anwar announced the appeal at a press conference alongside Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died in the atrocity and who has campaigned for the case to be re-opened.
A new application has been made to review the conviction of the Lockerbie bomber.
Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter was killed in the 1988 disaster, has put in a formal request to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission.
Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was found guilty of murder in 2001. He has since died after being released from prison on compassionate grounds.
Fiona McIlwraith reports:
A new application to review the conviction of the Lockerbie bomber will be made to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission.
Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the 1988 disaster, has made the request on behalf of himself and others.
Libyan Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of the murder of the 259 passengers and crew on board Pan Am flight 103, and 11 residents of Lockerbie.
He died three years after being released from prison on compassionate grounds.
John Gair witnessed the disaster and has welcomed the calls for a review:
It's now 14 years since Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was found guilty in 2001, for blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie.
270 people were killed in the bombing on 21 December 1988.
This is the third attempt to appeal Megrahi's conviction and Jim Swire is behind the campaign.
– Dr Jim Swire
“After I realised that he had nothing to do with the murder of my daughter, Megrahi became my friend. There are a lot of legal people in Scotland who want to see this issue properly resolved.
"I hope that the appeal will succeed and, when it does, Megrahi’s family will no longer be regarded as the family of the so-called Lockerbie bomber.”
A fresh appeal could begin into whether the Lockerbie bomber was wrongly convicted.
Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was found guilty of blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 over the town in 1988.
He was released from prison in 2009 after abandoning a second appeal against his conviction and died three years later.
Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died on the plane, believes he was innocent and is asking for permission to continue the legal appeal on Megrahi's behalf.