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New cover-up claims as Lockerbie bomber drops his appeal

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New cover-up claims as Lockerbie bomber drops his appeal
08-15-2009, 11:27 AM,
New cover-up claims as Lockerbie bomber drops his appeal
Quote:Relatives of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing have joined politicians in accusing the Scottish Government of a cover-up after the only man found guilty of the atrocity dropped his second appeal against his conviction.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, who has terminal prostate cancer, is likely to be freed next week. Had he continued with his appeal, families of the victims believe it would have gone some way to exposing what they claim is a cover-up.

They accuse the Scottish Government of striking a deal with the convicted bomber that he drop his appeal, which may have exposed a miscarriage of justice, in exchange for repatriation.

Talking to The Times, Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya, said: 'It’s pretty likely there was a deal,' adding that the British and Scottish governments were anxious to avoid the appeal.

The move now means the families of the 270 passengers killed when Pan Am Flight 103 was blown out of the sky in 1988 have lost their final chance to expose the truth.

News of Al Megrahi's decision to drop his appeal has fueled speculation about whether he was a scapegoat.

Christine Grahame, a member of the Scottish Parliament, told The Times: 'There are a number of vested interests who have been deeply opposed to this appeal because they know it would go a considerable way towards exposing the truth behind Lockerbie.'

Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died, also believes Al Megrahi is innocent. He said: 'I am someone who does not believe he is guilty. The sooner he is back with his family, the better. Everything points to a miscarriage of justice in the case.

'On reasonable human grounds it is the right thing to do and if it's true that he is to be returned on compassionate grounds, then that would be more to Scotland's credit than returning him under the prisoner transfer agreement.'

Martin Cadman, who lost his 32-year-old son Bill, said: 'I think he is innocent and even if he were not, I still think it's the right thing to do on compassionate grounds.'

Lawyers for Al Megrahi, who has terminal prostate cancer, said his condition had taken a 'significant turn for the worse' in recent weeks.

The Libyan government applied in May for him to be transferred to Libya to serve the rest of his sentence.

It is believed there are plans for the 57-year-old former intelligence officer to be returned to Tripoli next week in time for the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

There were immediate suspicions that the release had in fact been brokered behind the scenes last month during a meeting at the G8 summit in Italy between Gordon Brown and Libya's one-time pariah leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Pamela Dix, whose brother, Peter Dix, died in the bombing aged 35, said she was 'disappointed' that Megrahi was dropping his appeal.

She agreed the move would leave many questions unanswered for the victims' relatives.

Speaking from Woking in Surrey, she said: "My immediate feeling is of great disappointment if the appeal does not go ahead.

'Further useful information may or may not have appeared through Megrahi's appeal process.

'At the moment there is no other process or procedure ongoing to tell us how the bombing was carried out, why it was done, the motivation for it and who ordered it.

'As the British Government are aware, we will continue pressing for the independent inquiry that has been denied to us to date primarily because of the ongoing criminal case.'
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New cover-up claims as Lockerbie bomber drops his appeal - TriWooOx - 08-15-2009, 11:27 AM

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