Lockerbie bomber's family launches bid to appeal conviction

AP News
Posted: Jul 04, 2017 9:26 AM
Lockerbie bomber's family launches bid to appeal conviction

LONDON (AP) — The family of a Libyan man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing launched a new effort Tuesday to posthumously clear his name.

Relatives of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi say he was wrongly convicted of the airliner bombing, which killed 270 people.

The family's lawyer, Aamer Anwar, handed a dossier of evidence to the Glasgow offices of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which will decide whether to hand the case to an appeals court.

Al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on Dec. 21, 1988, killing all 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground. Many victims were American college students flying home for Christmas.

Al-Megrahi lost one appeal and abandoned another before being freed in 2009 on compassionate grounds. He died of cancer in 2012, still protesting his innocence.

The latest appeal seeks to overturn the murder conviction, citing concerns about the evidence that convicted al-Megrahi, including doubts about the timer alleged to have detonated the bomb.

It is supported by several relatives of Lockerbie victims, including Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the attack. He and some other relatives believe al-Megrahi was wrongfully convicted.

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"The reputation of Scottish law has suffered both at home and internationally because of widespread doubts about the conviction of Mr. al-Megrahi," Anwar said. "It is in the interests of justice and restoring confidence in our criminal justice system that these doubts can be addressed."

Gerard Sinclair, chief executive of the Criminal Cases Review Commission, said the body would "give careful consideration to this new application."