Lockerbie bomber's conviction to be reviewed

Abdelbaset Al Megrahi is the only person convicted of the 1988 bombing over Scotland

(FILES) A file picture taken on February 18, 1992 in Tripoli shows convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi (C) being escorted by security officers. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, who has prostate cancer, is to be freed from a British jail on compassionate grounds, British media reported on August 12, 2009. Megrahi is serving life with a minimum term of 27 years over the downing of Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish village of Lockerbie, which killed 270 people in 1988. AFP PHOTO/MANOOCHER DEGHATI/FILES / AFP PHOTO / FILES / MANOOCHER DEGHATI
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The Scottish legal body which investigates miscarriages of justice will review the conviction of a Libyan man jailed for bombing a plane over Lockerbie in 1988.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet Al Megrahi, who died in 2012, was the only person convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103, killing 270 people, 259 passengers and crew and 11 residents of Lockerbie.

He was jailed for life for mass murder in 2001, although he maintained his innocence. He abandoned an appeal after he was released on compassionate grounds following a diagnosis of terminal prostate cancer.

"The commission believes that Mr Al Megrahi, in abandoning his appeal, did so as he held a genuine and reasonable belief that such a course of action would result in him being able to return home to Libya, at a time when he was suffering from terminal cancer," Scotland's Criminal Cases Review Commission chief executive, Gerard Sinclair, said.


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The SCCRC review was requested by Mr Al Megrahi’s family. Officials interviewed people involved in the previous appeal, and reviewed defence papers not previously provided.

"On that basis, the commission has decided that it is in the interests of justice to accept the current application for a full review of his conviction," Mr Sinclair said.

The family's solicitor Aamer Anwar said Scotland’s legal reputation at home and abroad has suffered because of widespread doubts about Mr Al Megrahi’s conviction.

His family has endured "a long journey in the pursuit for truth and justice", Mr Anwar told BBC Scotland.

The Pan Am flight from London to New York exploded 31,000 feet over Lockerbie after take-off from London. Mr Al Megrahi protested his innocence until his death in Libya in 2012.

Mr Anwar said the family’s application to the SCCRC was supported by Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora, 23, died in the bombing, along with many other relatives of the deceased.