Law chief’s pledge to trap Lockerbie bombers

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who remains the only man to be convicted of the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people. Picture: PA

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who remains the only man to be convicted of the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people. Picture: PA

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SCOTLAND’S Lord Advocate has met the director of the FBI to discuss progress in the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing.

Frank Mulholland QC described Friday’s talks with James Comey as “very useful” and said they discussed in detail various avenues of inquiry currently being examined.

Mr Mulholland revealed details of his recent high-level meetings during a speech in the United States on the 26th anniversary of the tragedy in which he told family members of the 270 victims at a memorial service at Arlington cemetery in Washington that he “will never give up the fight” for justice.

The Lord Advocate also met the Libyan ambassador to the UK last week who, he said, voiced the commitment of the Libyan authorities to help bring others involved to justice.

Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is the only person to have been convicted of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over the south of Scotland on 21 December, 1988.

Scottish law officers joined relatives of those who died at the service to mark the anniversary of the atrocity.

During the service Mr Mulholland reaffirmed his belief in the guilt of the only man convicted of the bombing, Megrahi, and vowed to track down his accomplices.

Mr Mulholland said no Crown Office investigator or prosecutor has raised a concern about the evidence presented in the case. Megrahi’s part in the bombing of the flight to New York has been called into question in a series of books and documentaries.

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A petition seeking “Justice For Megrahi”, backed by politicians and family members of some UK victims, remains on Holyrood’s books more than two years after Megrahi’s death.

Mr Mulholland, who addressed the memorial service, said his ongoing investigation “remains on the evidence, and not on speculation and supposition”. He added: “The current instability in Libya has meant that some investigative opportunities have required to be reassessed, which I know has been frustrating for family members.

“However our prosecutors and police officers, working with UK government and US colleagues, will continue to pursue this investigation, with the sole aim of bringing those who acted along with Megrahi to justice. There are other significant investigative opportunities open to us which are not reliant on obtaining evidence from our Libyan colleagues.”

He added: “The Crown will never give up the fight to secure justice for the families of those who died.

“It might be 26 years since 270 people lost their lives in the terrorist attack but justice has no sell-by date in Scotland.

“Over the years many people have worked on the inquiry and all have been given the same instruction – to carefully review the evidence and work to identify all of those who were involved in the conspiracy to destroy Pan Am flight 103.

“During the 26-year long inquiry not one Crown Office investigator or prosecutor has raised a concern about the evidence in this case. We remain committed to this investigation and our focus remains on the evidence, and not on speculation and supposition.”

Earlier this year, Megrahi’s relatives embarked on a legal bid to clear his name amid claims that his case is the “worst miscarriage of justice in British legal history”.

Solicitor Aamer Anwar, who is co-ordinating efforts to quash Megrahi’s conviction, said: “The Lord Advocate’s speech in Washington makes for great sound bites with an American audience but lacks analysis of the essential facts.”

He accused the Crown Office of repeating “an age-old mantra of the Crown of never doubting the safety of the conviction”, despite “many miscarriages of justice over the years”.

SEE ALSO

Lockerbie: Megrahi verdict right says prosecutor

Letter: Remember Lockerbie tragedy as crimes of intelligence are exposed

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