MSPs back bid to pursue inquiry into Megrahi

MSPs have voted to continue a petition calling for an independent inquiry into the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi for his role in the Lockerbie bombing.

Holyrood’s justice committee met yesterday to consider the petition by the Justice for Megrahi campaign.

The group is calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to open an independent inquiry into the 2001 conviction of Megrahi for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988, which killed 270 people.

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SNP MSP Christine Grahame, the committee’s convener and a member of the Justice for Megrahi group, went head-to-head with Labour’s James Kelly, vice-convener and brother of Scottish lawyer Tony Kelly, who has acted for Megrahi, over whether the petition should continue.

Mr Kelly said: “In terms of the petitioners’ assertion that Mr Megrahi’s conviction is unsound, I believe the place for that to be tested is in the courts.”

Ms Grahame said: “I think the committee will agree that this is unfinished business. We had the abandonment of the second part of the appeal, with the SCCRC report untested, in extraordinary circumstances.”

The committee voted to continue the petition.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said it would welcome a “wide-ranging inquiry”.