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The Scotsman


Tue 1 Nov 2005

Architect of Lockerbie trial vows to fight for an appeal


ONE of the key architects of the Lockerbie trial has vowed to continue his fight to have the murder conviction of the Libyan bomber brought back to the appeal courts. In an interview with The Scotsman, Professor Robert Black said it was "the most disgraceful miscarriage of justice in Scotland for 100 years".

The professor of Scots law, who devised the non-jury trial that saw the case heard in 2000, said a failure to address concerns about the case would "gravely damage" the reputation of the Scottish criminal justice system.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi is serving a life sentence for murdering 270 people by bombing Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988. The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) is looking at his case.

Prof Black said he felt "a measure of personal responsibility" for persuading Libya to allow Megrahi and his co-accused, Al-Amin Khalifa Fhima, who was acquitted, to stand trial under Scots law.

"I have written about this and nobody is interested," he said. "Every lawyer who has ... read the judgment says 'this is nonsense'. It is nonsense. It really distresses me; I won't let it go."

Dr Jim Swire, a spokesman for the UK families of Lockerbie victims, also doubts that the conviction is sound. After a meeting involving Prof Black and former Labour MP Tam Dalyell yesterday, the families are to write to the SCCRC urging it to pursue the case, even if Megrahi decides not to take the case further.

Dr Swire is also concerned by comments attributed to the former lord advocate Lord Fraser, which appeared to doubt the credibility of a key prosecution witness, Tony Gauci.

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  Scottish Courts - Lockerbie trial

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