A prominent lawyer who represented the family of the Lockerbie bomber said he was deeply upset to be accused of professional misconduct over a “genuine error” in an agreement with a client six years ago.
Aamer Anwar, 53, the lawyer for the family of Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, the only man ever convicted of the 1988 bomb attack on Pan Am Flight 103, denied the misconduct charge at a disciplinary hearing on Monday and said that his integrity and honesty had never been questioned in his 21 years as a solicitor.
“I am deeply upset at being here … I believe I have been fearless in defending my clients’ interests,” he told the online hearing. “Over the years, I have suffered abuse, suffered intimidation because of the sort of work I do, extending to threats to my life.
“But in all that time, nobody has been able to point a finger at my honesty or integrity. If I made a mistake, it was a genuine mistake.”
The Scottish Solicitors’ Discipline Tribunal has not released full details of the accusation against Mr Anwar but he has said that it related to a historic, technical issue related to the terms of business sent to a client.
Mr Anwar rose to prominence after acting for the family of Surjit Singh Chhokar, a waiter who was killed in a 1998 racist murder in North Lanarkshire, Scotland.
Three men were acquitted of his killing in 1999 but a campaign by Mr Anwar led to one of the men being tried for a second time and convicted 17 years later.
He has since been involved in some of Scotland’s most high-profile cases. He represented academic Clara Ponsati in her successful battle against extradition to Spain where she was wanted over support for Catalan independence.
He has worked with Al Megrahi's family during their continued efforts to clear his name following his death in Libya in 2012.
Al Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer, was convicted at a specially convened Scottish court in the Netherlands in 2001 but was released eight years and one failed appeal attempt later on medical grounds, without ever admitting guilt for the attack that killed 270 people.