International Law

Is Libyan Innocent in Lockerbie Case?


A “miscarriage of justice” may have resulted in the conviction of a Libyan intelligence agent in the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing, requiring that he be granted a new appeal by Scotland’s High Court, an independent review board reported today.

Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was found guilty in 2001 of the bombing, which killed 270 people, and is serving a life sentence in Glasgow. However, there are six grounds, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission report says–not all of which it specifies–to believe that his prosecution could have resulted from an eyewitness misidentification, according to Reuters.

A successful appeal by Megrahi would not only reopen the nearly 20-year-old case but “raise questions about how Libya would respond, after paying more than $2 billion to victims’ families on the basis that Megrahi was guilty,” Reuters points out. Seeking to improve its international reputation as a rogue state, Libya voluntarily paid compensation to families of victims after his conviction.

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