Friday, September 18, 2009

Libyan Convicted in 1988 Lockerbie Bombing Releases Appeal Online

Friday, September 18, 2009
20:13 Mecca time, 17:13 GMT

Lockerbie bomber puts appeal online

Al-Megrahi, who is dying of prostate cancer, was released from jail on compassionate grounds

Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, has posted documents online which he believes will help clear his name.

The 57-year-old Libyan, who is dying of prostate cancer, released information on Friday which he hopes will "persuade the public" of his innocence.

Al-Megrahi returned to his hometown in August this year after being released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds.

He said in a statement: "I have returned to Tripoli with my unjust conviction still in place."

"As a result of the abandonment of my appeal, I have been deprived of the opportunity to clear my name through the formal appeal process.

"I have vowed to continue my attempts to clear my name. I will do everything in my power to persuade the public, and in particular the Scottish public, of my innocence," he said.

'Sketchy testimony'

Al-Megrahi, who is in hospital in Tripoli, Libya's capital, had been serving a 27-year-sentence for planting a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people when it exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988.

He abandoned his second appeal against his conviction earlier this year, paving the way for his release.

But the decision made by Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice secretary, sparked anger in Britain and the US from officials and relatives of victims, who say he should have remained behind bars.

The former Libyan intelligence agent, who was sentence by a specially convened Scottish Court in The Netherlands in 2001, has always proclaimed his innocence.

His Scottish lawyers also argued he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

The legal argument released online consists of the written grounds of appeal submitted to Scotland's High Court this year.

In the papers, his lawyers argued that al-Megrahi's conviction relied on sketchy eyewitness testimony and several "leaps of faith".

Source: Agencies

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