In Brief

Was Lockerbie conviction a miscarriage of justice?

Scottish commission approves application for appeal court hearing

The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing may have been the victim of a miscarriage of justice, the Scottish criminal cases review commission has found.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer, was convicted of the attack in 2001. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison but died aged 60 of prostate cancer in 2012 after being released on compassionate grounds.

The commission has approved an application to refer Megrahi’s conviction back to the appeal court following an application by Megrahi’s family. The Guardian says the application was supported by some families of those who died in the 1988 disaster.

Their lawyer, Aamer Anwar, said: “A reversal of the verdict would have meant that the government of the United States and the United Kingdom stand exposed as having lived a monumental lie for 31 years, imprisoning a man they knew to be innocent and punishing the Libyan people for a crime which they did not commit.”

Anwar said Megrahi “went to his grave still with the wish for justice on his lips – those were his final words.”

His first appeal against his conviction was refused by the High Court in 2002.

A total of 270 people from 21 countries were killed when Pan Am flight 103, on its way from London to New York, exploded above Lockerbie on 21 December 1988. Of those, 243 were passengers, 16 were crew and 11 Lockerbie residents were killed by falling debris.

Anwar’s legal team submitted a number of allegations about the failure of the prosecution to disclose evidence, which could have been key to the defence.

They say Iran could be behind the attack, suggeting its government ordered a Syrian-Palestinian group to carry out a revenge attack for the downing of an Iranian Airbus by the US Vincennes in 1988, which killed all 290 on board.

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