Scotland OKs Posthumous Appeal in Lockerbie Bombing

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi died in 2012
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2020 12:40 PM CDT
Scotland OKs Posthumous Appeal in Lockerbie Bombing
In this Dec. 1988 file photo, a police officer walks past the wreckage in Lockerbie, Scotland, of Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York.   (AP Photo/File)

The family of the only person convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 can posthumously appeal his conviction, Scotland's criminal appeals body said on Wednesday. The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission's finding means Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's 2001 conviction will pass to an appeals court, which will decide if a miscarriage of justice occurred. Megrahi was freed on compassionate grounds in 2009 and died of cancer 3 years later at age 60. The Guardian reports the Libyan man's lawyers allege the attack was really masterminded by Iran and carried out by a Syria-Palestinian group as retribution for the US takedown of an Iranian flight nearly 6 months prior; all 290 aboard that flight died.

For their part, Megrahi's family has faulted evidence used in the case, "including doubts about the timer alleged to have detonated the bomb," as the AP puts it. They're on the receiving end of support from families of some of the 270 Lockerbie victims, who believe the complete truth on the bombing has yet to be exposed. The BBC reports the SCCRC looked at the six grounds of review submitted by the family and determined a miscarriage of justice may have occurred by way of two of them: "unreasonable verdict" (it said "no reasonable trial court could have accepted that Mr. Megrahi was identified as the purchaser" of the materials inside a bomb suitcase) and "non-disclosure" (related to the defense not being told about a statement and police report related to a Maltese shopkeeper who proved to be a key witness against Megrahi).

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