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Lockerbie bomber's family asks for review of his conviction in Scotland

By Laura Smith-Spark and Lindsay Isaac, CNN
updated 9:36 AM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
Friends and relatives pray over body of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi during his funeral on May 21, 2012 in Janzur, Libya.
Friends and relatives pray over body of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi during his funeral on May 21, 2012 in Janzur, Libya.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An application is lodged for a review of Abdelbeset al Megrahi's conviction
  • Al Megrahi was found guilty in 2001 of the 1988 bombing of PanAm Flight 103
  • He died in 2012, having been freed from prison on compassionate grounds in 2009

(CNN) -- The family of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi has applied for a review of his conviction in a Scottish court for the 1988 bombing of PanAm Flight 103.

Al Megrahi was found guilty in 2001 of the murders of the 259 passengers and crew on board the flight from London to New York, as well as those of 11 residents of the Scottish town of Lockerbie. He died in 2012 in Libya, having been released from prison in Scotland in 2009 on compassionate grounds because he had terminal cancer.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission confirmed in a statement Thursday that it had received an application to review his conviction in the case.

Dr. Jim Swire, whose 23-year-old daughter Fiona was killed in the bombing, attended court to file the application on behalf of the al Megrahi family, the Commission said. He is also one of the applicants.

2013: Pan Am Flight 103 bombing remembered
2012: Taking secrets to grave?

Swire does not believe al Megrahi was responsible for the bombing and is among a number of relatives of the victims who have been fighting for the evidence in the case to be re-examined in court.

Al Megrahi previously applied to the commission for a review of his conviction in 2003, and his case was referred to the High Court for a new appeal in 2007, the statement said. However, he subsequently dropped his appeal in 2009.

The commission, a body set up to investigate potential miscarriages of justice, will now look at the new application in order to make a decision about whether to accept it or not, a process that could take months.

If accepted, the application would then go through a review process in order to be sent either to the High Court or back to the applicant, who can then submit further representation.

Chief executive Gerard Sinclair said, "As it does in every case the Commission will now give careful consideration to this new application.

"I previously indicated last month that there are several important matters which will affect the timescale within which the Commission will be able to deal with this fresh application and subsequently, if there is to be a further review of this conviction, any such review will take some time to complete."

READ: Al Megrahi: Truth will eventually come out

READ: Lockerbie bombing 25 years on

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