Lockerbie bomber's legal team puts forward appeal bid
THE Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing could be heading home in a matter of weeks, as a free man.
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi's legal team completed submissions yesterday in the first section of his appeal, and the judges said they wanted time to consider their ruling.
If the ruling goes in favour of Megrahi, 57, his conviction would be quashed and he would be returned to Tripoli; if against him, he would remain in Greenock Prison pending the hearing of further sections of the appeal later in the year.
Lord Hamilton, the Lord Justice-General, said at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh that he and his fellow judges may decide that the ruling on the first part of the appeal should be deferred until other grounds have been argued.
Lord Hamilton said: "We appreciate that having regard to, among other things, the appellant's state of health, there will be concern we deal with these matters as expeditiously as possible. But having regard to their importance to all concerned, we cannot and must not rush to judgment."
Another possibility is that the Scottish ministers could grant an application submitted by Libya to allow Megrahi, who has prostate cancer, to serve the remainder of his sentence in his homeland. For that he would have to abandon his appeal before any transfer took place. He has completed ten years of a minimum 27 years' life sentence.
In the submissions over the past few weeks, Maggie Scott, QC for Megrahi, disputed the decision at his trial that there had been acceptable evidence to support a guilty verdict.
Pan Am flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie on 21 December, 1988, and 270 people died on board and on the ground.
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