Judge Hears Lockerbie Appeal Bid

3 July 2015, 08:16

Abdelbaset al Megrahi

A hearing will take place today to decide whether relatives of Lockerbie bombing victims could pursue an appeal on behalf of the only man convicted of the atrocity.

 

A hearing will take place today to decide whether relatives of Lockerbie bombing victims could pursue an appeal on behalf of the only man convicted of the atrocity.

A group of British relatives maintain they have a ''legitimate interest'' in trying to get the case of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi back before a court for a full appeal.

They believe the Libyan, who died protesting his innocence in his home country in 2012, was the victim of a miscarriage of justice and say his conviction should be overturned.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC), which is once again looking at Megrahi's conviction, has petitioned the High Court asking for guidance on whether members of the victims' families can take forward such an appeal on the convicted man's behalf.

A hearing on the issue will take place before three judges at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh today.

Megrahi was found guilty of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over the south of Scotland on December 21 1988 in which 270 people were killed.

He died after abandoning his second appeal, which itself came after the SCCRC referred the case back to senior High Court judges in 2007.

Since June last year, the SCCRC has been considering a fresh, joint application from members of Megrahi's family and the Justice for Megrahi campaign group, which includes relatives of British victims of the bombing, to review the conviction.

Aamer Anwar, solicitor for the Megrahi family and 26 relatives of Lockerbie victims, said: "On June 5 2014, the Commission received an application for a further review of Mr Al-Megrahi's conviction from my office.

"This application was lodged on behalf of two separate groups: Family members of the deceased victims of the Lockerbie bombing and members of Mr Al-Megrahi's family.

"Our legal team will argue today that the Commission is premature with their petition, as the role of the SCCRC is to investigate whether there has been a miscarriage of justice.

"When Pan Am flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988, 270 people from 21 countries perished. It remains the worst terrorist atrocity ever committed in the UK but the consequences are still being felt 26 years later.

"The family members of the Lockerbie victims instructing us maintain that they have as much a right to pursue an appeal as the Megrahi family because they also believe the wrong person was convicted.

"The families hope this matter can be resolved as finality in the Megrahi case is unlikely ever to be achieved unless a referral is made to the Appeal Court.''

 

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