Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Lockerbie Appeal : Libya applies for Megrahi transfer

Today, Libya applied to the Scottish Government for the transfer of the man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988.

Libya has requested that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi be transferred back to his home country, under the terms of the Prisoner Transfer Agreement recently ratified by the UK and Libyan authorities.

The Herald reports :

Libya applies for transfer of Lockerbie bomb prisoner

The Libyan authorities have applied for the transfer of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, the Scottish government said today.

The move, which could see Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi sent home to Libya to serve out his sentence, follows last week's ratification of a prisoner transfer agreement between the British and Libyan governments.

A Scottish government spokesman said: "The application will be considered by officials who will provide information and advice to Scottish ministers for decision on this matter.

"Under the terms of the agreement this process may take 90 days although it could be longer if further information is required in relation to the application, or for another reason."

Al Megrahi, who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, is in Greenock prison serving a life sentence with a minimum of 27 years for the 1988 atrocity in which 270 people died.

His second appeal against conviction began at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh last week, but this must be dropped if his transfer to a Libyan jail is to take place.

Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was on board the Pan Am flight 103, welcomed the development.

He said: "I am not opposed to this simply because I don't believe the man is guilty as charged and I don't think Megrahi should be in prison."

He said it was only "right" Megrahi, who is dying from cancer, should be allowed home.

But Dr Swire added: "He has to renounce his appeal before he can go home. Just because the authorities have applied doesn't mean it is going to happen immediately."

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