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Scotland commission sends Lockerbie bombing case to high court for review

[JURIST] The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) [official website] announced Thursday that it has referred the case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi [Wikipedia profile], the only person convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 [Wikipedia backgrounder] over the Scottish village of Lockerbie, to Scotland's High Court of the Justiciary [official website], after identifying six grounds [press release, PDF] for a possible "miscarriage of justice" in Megrahi's trial and conviction. The commission found that there was "no reasonable basis" for the trial court's determination that Megrahi was in Malta, or allegedly purchased items of clothing and an umbrella on the particular date that linked him to the suitcase containing the bomb that brought down the airliner. In addition, the commission also found new evidence that may demonstrate that Megrahi was not in Malta when he allegedly purchased the items linking him to the suitcase. Megrahi's defense was also never told that the key witness, who identified Megrahi as the purchaser in the store, had previously been exposed to a magazine photograph alleging Megrahi's links with the bombing.

In February, Dr. Hans Koechler [official website], an international observer appointed by then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan who reported on the trial [report, text] and appeal [report, PDF] in the Lockerbie case, compared the Lockerbie verdict with Libya's judicial proceedings against six foreign medics [JURIST news archive], saying that procedural flaws, lack of transparency, and political interference had marred the trials [PDF text] and tarnished the European Union and United States' legitimacy in confronting Libya on the trial of the foreign medics. BBC News has more.

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