Lockerbie: Megrahi conviction to be fully reviewed
The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission announced today that it has agreed to accept the current application in the case of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi to proceed to stage 2 of its process, and will now conduct a full review of his conviction for the Lockerbie bombing in order to decide whether it would be appropriate to refer the matter for a fresh appeal.
Gerard Sinclair, the chief executive of the SCCRC, said: “In any application where an applicant has previously chosen to abandon an appeal against conviction the commission will, at the first stage of its process, look carefully at the reasons why the appeal was abandoned and consider whether it is in the interests of justice to allow a further review of the conviction.
The commission has now investigated this particular matter and interviewed the key personnel who were involved in the process at the time the previous appeal was abandoned in 2009.
The commission has also sought access to the relevant materials and has recovered the vast majority of these, including the defence papers which were not provided during its previous review.
Having considered all the available evidence, the commission believes that Mr Megrahi, in abandoning his appeal, did so as he held a genuine and reasonable belief that such a course of action would result in him being able to return home to Libya, at a time when he was suffering from terminal cancer.
On that basis, the commission has decided that it is in the interests of justice to accept the current application for a full review of his conviction.”