New Evidence Casts Doubt on Lockerbie Conviction
Defense lawyers for a Libyan man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing will present evidence of a break-in at London's Heathrow airport which could cast doubt on his conviction, said reports.
Quoting a report by Britain's Mirror newspaper, the ABC said that a former security guard at the airport has said a luggage bay was broken into just hours before a bomb exploded on board Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland.
The explosion killed 270 people including 11 of Lockerbie residents.
Judges at the Netherlands trial of Abdul-Basset Al Megrahi, found the bomb was placed aboard Flight 103 in unaccompanied luggage originally loaded aboard another plane in Malta and routed through Frankfurt to Heathrow.
Shortly after Megrahi’s conviction, the legal team announced that he would seek to appeal.
He was convicted on January 31 at a special Scottish Court in the Netherlands, which was set up for his trial and that of co-accused Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah.
Fhimah was found not guilty but Megrahi was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation by the court that he serve at least 20 years in jail.
His legal team announced in February that he would appeal against the conviction and was given a statutory six weeks from that date in which to provide full written reasons for the appeal.
US and British lawyers will file an appeal on October 15 against Megrahi's conviction, for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Megrahi maintained his innocence throughout the duration of the trial. His country accused the court of issuing the sentence under the political influence of the US and Britain.
His lawyers insisted that he had nothing to do with the atrocity and said it was carried out by Palestinian “terrorists.”
The Mirror says security guard Ray Manly found a heavy-duty padlock protecting Pan Am's baggage area at Heathrow had been sliced through just hours before the doomed flight took off.
This means a bomb could have been planted in luggage already X-rayed and cleared for loading onto the plane in London.
The newspaper says Manly reported the break-in but it was not investigated that day.
Anti-terrorist police questioned him the next month but his statement was lost, said the report – Albawaba.com
The paper says it has obtained two sworn affidavits made by Manly to defense lawyers -- Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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