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Libyan appeals Lockerbie bombing conviction
afrol News, 28 April - A Libyan man, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who was convicted for the bombing of the 1988 Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, has begun an appeal of his conviction today in a Scottish court. Mr Megrahi was jailed in 2001 for his role in the bombing of a plane that killed 270 people in December 1988.
The appeal at the Criminal Appeal Court in Edinburgh is expected to last for a month according to the court officials.
The appeal hearing in Edinburgh comes nearly two years after the case was referred by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission. The commission raised substantial doubts about the reliability of the key witness against Mr Megrahi.
Mr Megrahi has since his conviction for the bombing denied all the charges leveled against him.
Last November judges rejected an application for Mr Megrahi, to be released on bail as a cancer patient after a team of medical experts said he could live for some years.
A Scottish court ruled in 2003 that Mr Megrahi must serve at least 27 years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
Libya has formally accepted responsibility for the bombing, though Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi later denied any culpability. The Libyan government had also agreed to pay $1.5 billion in compensation to the US victims.
Analysts said Libya's payment into the fund cleared last hurdle in full normalisation of ties between Washington and Tripoli.
US-Libyan relations were restored in early 2004 after more than two decades, after Mr Gaddafi announced that Tripoli was abandoning efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction.
In 2006, US announced a full normalisation of ties, dropping Libya from a State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism and raising diplomatic relations to level of ambassadors.
By staff writer
© afrol News
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