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Is Libyan Innocent in Lockerbie Case?

Posted Jun 28, 2007 2:14 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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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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