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25 September 2017 10:02 (South Africa)

Lockerbie bomber wants to clear his name

al-megrahi

The only person convicted for the downing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988, recently released Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, has what he calls fresh evidence that will clear his name over the bombing that killed 270 people. Megrahi has been in hospital in Libya after Scottish authorities freed him on compassionate grounds after he contracted terminal cancer. The new evidence, which includes details already uncovered by a Scottish review panel, says a key witness expressed interest in a financial reward before giving evidence at the trial. There is also still some dispute over crucial dates around the bombing and other eyewitness accounts. The appeal is irrelevant in legal terms because shortly before Megrahi’s release he dropped an appeal of his conviction enabling him to be transferred to a Libyan prison. In Libya, he was given a hero's welcome, which added to an outcry in the US, where most of the victims’ relatives live. There must be many politicians who hope that Megrahi wasn’t a fall guy for the bombing, as Libya recently paid out what some reports said was $1.8 billion in reparations to victim’s families in exchange for its international rehabilitation.

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