LONDON (Reuters) – Scotland will announce on Wednesday the outcome of a review of the conviction on of the only man found guilty of the Lockerbie aircraft bombing that could allow his family to launch a fresh appeal, the body which has looked into the case said on Monday.
FILE PHOTO: Convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi speaks during an exclusive interview with Reuters TV at his home in Tripoli October 3, 2011. Al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people, said his role in the attack had been exaggerated and the truth about what really happened would emerge soon. REUTERS/Reuters TV
Pam Am flight 103 was blown up over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988 en route from London to New York, an attack that killed 270 people.
In 2001, Libyan intelligence officer Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was jailed for life after being found guilty – in association with others never identified – of what remains Britain’s deadliest militant attack.
Megrahi, who denied being involved, died in Libya in 2012 after being released three years earlier by Scotland’s government on compassionate grounds following a diagnosis of terminal cancer.
He first appealed his conviction in 2002 but this was refused by Scotland’s High Court.
The following year he appealed to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission and the case was referred to the High Court for a second appeal in 2007. However, he abandoned this in 2009.
In 2018, the Commission said it would conduct a full review of the conviction to decide whether to refer the case for a fresh appeal. Its main findings will be made public on Wednesday, it said in a statement.
In 2003, former Libya leader Muammar Gaddafi accepted his country’s responsibility for the bombing and paid compensation to the victims’ families, but did not admit personally ordering the attack.
Scotland’s top prosecutor said in 2014 that no evidence had emerged to cast doubt on the conviction.
However, his family and some relatives of the Scottish victims have doubted his guilt.
Most of the victims of the explosion over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in Scotland were Americans on their way home for Christmas. Eleven people died on the ground as the New York-bound jet crashed when a bomb exploded in its hold some 40 minutes after leaving London’s Heathrow airport.
Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Guy Faulconbridge