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Lockerbie families fail in Megrahi appeal

Megrahi Credit: PA

Judges have ruled that relatives of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing should not be allowed to pursue an appeal on behalf of the man convicted of the atrocity - Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.

Delivering the court's judgment, Lord Carloway said: "The Scottish criminal justice system does not at present allow victims or relatives of victims to be direct participants in criminal proceedings."

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.

It was believed to be an unprecedented move - the first time in UK legal history that relatives of murdered victims have united with the relatives of a convicted deceased in such a way.

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


Thousands watch Lockerbie Riding of the Marches

The cavalcade rides the boundaries of the town Credit: ITV News Border

Thousands of people from Lockerbie have turned out for the annual Riding of the Marches and Gala.

The elected Cornet, his Lass and the Standard Bearer lead a cavalcade of around 130 horses and riders around the boundaries of the town.

Historically, the principals and their followers would check the boundaries for intruders, and chase them off if any were found.

2015 Lockerbie Principals Credit: ITV News Border

This year marks the biggest turnout for many years, with the sunny weather making a difference.

The annual tradition is a highlight for the town, who turn out in their thousands to cheer on the horses and riders.

Horse and riders on the gallop Credit: ITV News Border

After the cavalcade return to the town centre, the Gala day begins, with a special parade for this year's Gala Queen.

Hundreds pay tribute to Keir Millar

A car-shaped floral tribute from Keir Millar's parents Credit: ITV Border

Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral of 11-year-old Keir Millar, who died in a mini stock car accident earlier this month.

Keir, from the village of Heck near Lockerbie, passed away following a racing event in Fife.

Amongst the floral tributes at the funeral in Lochmaben was a mini-car from his parents.

The police were called to monitor traffic in the town because of the number of people who attended.


Police guidance for people attending Keir Millar's funeral

Keir Millar

The funeral is taking place of 11-year-old Keir Millar from Lockerbie who died in a mini-stock car racing accident earlier this month.

Police will be operating a traffic flow system near the church in Lochmaben because of the large number of people expected to attend.

The service will be at 2pm at the Church of Scotland in Lochmaben.

Due to a large number of expected mourners at a funeral which is to take place at the Church of Scotland in Lochmaben at 2pm on Friday 22 May, a policing operation has been put in place to ensure traffic flow is managed effectively.

We would ask for patience from everyone, visitors and residents alike in order to get everyone in and out of the service and then to the cemetery in a safe manner.

Parking in the town will be at a premium, particularly around the church, which sits just off the main A709 as it runs through the town. Please consider carefully you travel plans and where you might want to park."

– Police Scotland

Police hunt man armed with shotgun in Lockerbie

Credit: Press Association

Armed response vehicles and a police helicopter have been searching for a man seen in Lockerbie carrying a shotgun.

Police received reports just after 10am yesterday that a man had been spotted by a passing motorist at the side of the Lockerbie to Corrie road near to Corrielaw Lodge in possession of a shotgun.

The only description of the man is that he was wearing a red jacket and jeans.

Police Scotland officers from the area, supported by the Armed Response Vehicle and the Police Scotland helicopter attended and searched the surrounding area however the man was not traced.

"In response to a call about a man carrying a shotgun on the Lockerbie to Corrie road we deployed appropriate resources to carry out a thorough search of the area.

"Local officers were supported by the armed response vehicle and the police helicopter. We have no yet traced anyone and I would ask that anyone who may have been on this road around 10am yesterday to get in touch if they can help identify him. I would also ask that the man himself comes forward and identifies himself to the police in order to provide an explanation as to the circumstances."

– Steven Lowther, Police Scotland Operational Commander Superintendent

Anyone with information can contact Police Scotland at Lockerbie on 101.

Keir Millar remembered as 'the boy who rose to any challenge'

Keir Millar

The head teacher of Keir Millar's former school has paid tribute to the eleven-year-old, who died in an accident yesterday.

Lynn McAulay-Sharp, head teacher of Hightae, Tundergarth and St Mungo primary schools, said:

Keir was a very popular boy who made friends easily across the partnership of Hightae, Tundergarth and St Mungo schools. He recently joined Tundergarth from Hightae and quickly became a part of the school community.

He was a gifted athlete and excelled at all sports. As the star of our partnership football team he was much admired by his team mates. Although a world champion stock car racer, Keir was modest and unassuming of his achievements and was always encouraging towards others less talented. He showed a mature and caring patience particularly with the younger children in all three of our schools.

Keir was a multi talented boy who was a perfectionist in all he turned his hand to. He was always willing to have a go.

He was a reliable and thoughtful friend and the loss we are feeling across the school communities of Tundergarth, Hightae and St Mungo reflects the positive impact Keir had on all our lives.

Our thoughts are with Keir’s family at this extremely difficult time and we send them our deepest sympathy and support.

We will remember Keir as the boy who rose to any challenge, always with a smile on his face."

– Lynn McAulay-Sharp, headteacher of Hightae, Tundergarth and St Mungo primary schools

Keir Millar's family 'extremely distraught' over his death

Police Scotland has issued a statement this evening concerning the death of Keir Millar, the young stock car racer:

"Police Scotland can confirm that the 11-year-old injured at a youth stock car event in Lochgelly, Fife, on Saturday, May 9, has died.

Keir Millar passed away peacefully today (Monday, May 11) at around 4pm at the Sick Kids Hospital, Edinburgh.

Keir's family has issued the following statement.

'The family of Keir Millar are extremely distraught at the passing of their son. He was a much loved son and brother and will be sadly missed by all who knew him.

'The family is requesting privacy at this most difficult time.'

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