Lockerbie bombing: Appeal against conviction of Abdelbasset al Megrahi rejected

The family of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset al Megrahi say they are “heartbroken” after a posthumous appeal to clear his name over the 1988 attack was rejected.

The Libyan intelligence officer was the only person convicted of the attack on Pan Am flight 103, which was blown up over the Scottish town of Lockerbie 33 years ago, killing 270 people.

He died trying to clear his name in 2009, but in recent weeks a Scottish court has heard a posthumous appeal on his behalf – which was rejected today.

Al Megrahi was found guilty in 2001 of the murder of all 243 passengers and 16 crew on the flight, as well as the murder of 11 people in Lockerbie, and was jailed for life with a minimum term of 27 years.

His family first brought an appeal to Scotland’s High Court of Justiciary three years ago after the SCCRC found a miscarriage of justice may have occurred.

Al Meghari’s lawyers have released a statement on behalf of his family, which said they were “left heartbroken by the decision of the Scottish courts”.

It said the family have instructed the legal team to appeal to the UK Supreme Court and lodge an application within 14 days.

The statement added: “The family demand the release of secret evidence held by the UK government, which they believe incriminates others such as Iran and the Syrian-Palestinian group, the foreign secretary had refused to do so, this must happen for the truth to emerge.”

Last month, it was reported by US media that outgoing Attorney General Bill Barr was seeking the extradition of suspected bombmaker Abu Agila Mohammad Masud from Libya.

He is thought to be currently held prisoner there on unrelated charges, but the US could request his extradition with a view to putting him on trial.

Lawyers fighting to clear al Megrahi’s name described US moves to pursue Masud as “cynical”.

The family said on Friday they believe the US case against Masud would be “non-existent” if the conviction against al Megrahi was overturned.

They said Masud’s confession to being involved in the conspiracy with al Megrahi “was supposedly ‘extracted’ by a ‘Libyan law enforcement agent’ in 2012, whilst in custody in a Libyan Prison”.

The statement added: “The American authorities will be also aware that if the al Megrahi’s were to be successful at the Supreme Court, then the ‘so-called’ case against Abu Masud would crumble.”

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