Lockerbie bomber's family in bid to overturn conviction

Aftermath of Pan Am Flight 103 plane crash in the Scottish town of Lockerbie Credit: PA

The family of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi have launched a new appeal against his conviction.

He was convicted of killing 271 people in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 above Lockerbie in the worst terrorist atrocity ever committed in the UK.

Megrahi was jailed for 27 years in 2001 but died of prostate cancer aged 60 in 2012 after being released on compassionate grounds in 2009.

Lawyer Aamer Anwar joined family members and supporters to hand files to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) in Glasgow.

Megrahi lost an appeal against his conviction in 2002 and dropped a second attempt to overturn it in 2009 before he returned to Libya.

His widow Aisha and son Ali launched the bid after meeting to discuss a posthumous appeal with Mr Anwar.

The SCCRC will now decide whether there are grounds to refer the case to the appeal court.

The move has the support of Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, and Rev John Mosey, whose daughter Helga also died.

Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the bombing, supports the move. Credit: PA

Mr Anwar said: "It has been a long journey in the pursuit for truth and justice.

"When Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988, killing 271 people from 21 countries, it still remains the worst terrorist atrocity ever committed in the UK - 28 years later the truth remains elusive.

"The reputation of Scottish law has suffered both at home and internationally because of widespread doubts about the conviction of Mr al-Megrahi.

"It is in the interests of justice and restoring confidence in our criminal justice system that these doubts can be addressed. However the only place to determine whether a miscarriage of justice did occur is in the appeal court, where the evidence can be subjected to rigorous scrutiny."