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Lockerbie Victims Speak Out

Scottish government yet to decide on Lockerbie bomber release

* Story Highlights
* No decision made on Lockerbie bomber release says Scottish government
* 57-year-old Megrahi is suffering from terminal prostate cancer
* Megrahi, serving a life sentence for the bombing that killed 270 people in 1988

(CNN) -- The Scottish government have said no decision has been made on releasing the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
Reports suggested that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi could be released next week.

The government statement followed reports that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, serving a life sentence for the bombing that killed 270 people, could be released on compassionate grounds.

The 57-year-old is suffering from terminal prostate cancer. A court rejected his appeal for release last November, saying he could be treated at a prison hospital, but left open the door for future appeals.

"No decision has been made on applications under the prisoner transfer agreement or compassionate early release by the Libyan authorities and Mr. Al Megrahi," the Scottish government said. "Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill is still considering all the representations in both cases and hopes to make a decision this month."

The United States responded to the decision by saying, "We maintain our long-standing position that Megrahi should serve out the entirety of his sentence in Scotland for his part in bombing Pan Am Flight 103."

Megrahi, a Libyan national, was convicted of the Lockerbie bombing in January 2001, but he maintains his innocence.

On December 21, 1988, the Pan Am flight exploded over Scotland as it headed from London to New York. All 259 people on board the plane died along with 11 Scots on the ground when the plane crashed in the small town of Lockerbie.

Megrahi was convicted after the prosecution argued he had placed the bomb, hidden in a suitcase, on a flight from Malta to Frankfurt, Germany.

There, prosecutors said, the bomb was transferred onto the Pan Am plane that went first to London's Heathrow Airport and then was to continue to New York.
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Another man -- Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima -- was also tried in the bombing but was acquitted.

The prosecution maintained Megrahi, who worked at Malta's Luqa Airport, was an agent for the Libyan intelligence services and had been seen buying clothes that were in the suitcase that contained the bomb.

Libya has formally accepted responsibility for the bombing, though Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi later denied any culpability.

A Scottish court ruled in 2003 that Megrahi must serve at least 27 years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

Megrahi has lodged an appeal of his conviction, which a five-judge review commission is still considering.

New evidence uncovered during the commission's investigation and other evidence not submitted at Megrahi's original trial led the commission to believe that Megrahi may have suffered a miscarriage of justice, commission Chairman Graham Forbes said. While the commission has not outlined all of the six grounds for appeal, it did identify two of them in a June 2007 news release.

The first is a finding by the commission that "there is no reasonable basis" for the trial court's conclusion that Megrahi purchased the clothes in Malta on the day alleged. It said evidence not heard at trial indicates the clothes were purchased when Megrahi was not in Malta.

Also not heard at trial, the commission said, was evidence that the owner of the clothes shop had seen Megrahi's picture in a magazine article about Lockerbie days before he picked Megrahi out of a line-up.

At trial, the clothes shop owner, Anthony Gauci, said the purchaser of the clothes resembled Megrahi "a lot."

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Added: Aug-13-2009 Occurred On: Aug-12-2009
By: bellava
Tags: Lockerbie
Location: Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
Views: 5561 | Comments: 10 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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  • He has terminal prostate cancer. I hope it's a long and painfull death and he reflects on his deeds. No compasion from me.

    Posted Aug-13-2009 By 

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  • release him but to his victims let them sort it out

    Posted Aug-13-2009 By 

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  • This guy is treated well in Greenock jail by both the screws and cons , they all know he didn't do it . Also there was a break-in at Heathrow adjacent to where the planes luggage was waiting to load that was not released to the court during the trial . And the TA soldiers who were first on the scene were stood down from the search as some blacked out Jeeps had arrived within an hour of the crash carrying some American SS personel . There's no American base within an hours drive of Lockerbie . Th More..

    Posted Aug-13-2009 By 

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  • stupid civil society....always keeping vengeance at bay

    Posted Aug-13-2009 By 

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  • the Lockerbie attacker might not even be the one who actually committed the attack. it was an intelligence operation not verifiably committed by Libya's government

    "It is more than 18 years since the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 killed 270 people in Lockerbie. Yet serious questions remain over who was behind the worst mass murder in British history.

    The credibility of one of the most complex international terrorism investigations conducted by British police may hinge on the simple questio More..

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  • guess what is missing from CNN/Fox Lite's article in regards to this story?

    - most of the evidence used in the trial came from the CIA, CIA double agents in Libya, and a shopkeeper who thinks he recognized the guy

    - exactly why Scotland's government is having serious issues with this guy's conviction. pressure from our government overriding their concerns

    Posted Aug-13-2009 By 

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  • typical stupid jew always playing the victim, makes me sick.

    Posted Aug-13-2009 By 

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