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Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 15:33 GMT 16:33 UK
Ex-CIA chief hails Lockerbie probe
The wreckage of flight 103
The bombing happened in 1988 and killed 270 people
The investigation which eventually led to the Lockerbie bomber being brought to justice has been hailed as one of the great achievements of co-operation between countries.

A former head of the American security services said the international effort behind the inquiry was "pleasing" to be involved with.

William Webster, who became director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1978 and then the head of the Central Intelligence Agency until 1991, was speaking in Edinburgh.

The former US Appeal Court judge was addressing delegates at the inaugural Global Forum for Law Enforcement and National Security in Edinburgh via a live satellite link.

Abdel Baset Ali Mohammed Al-Megrahi
Al Megrahi was convicted in January
His speech discussed past and future examples of co-operation between national police forces and the intelligence services.

He said the investigation and subsequent prosecution of those responsible for the bombing of Pan Am 103 was "one of the great achievements of international co-operation".

He described how law enforcement agents from various bodies pieced together vast amounts of evidence during their investigations.

"It was a great experience for United States law enforcement officials and intelligence officers to work with their counterparts in the UK and in Scotland," he said.

"Nothing could have been more pleasing to all than to see that with persistence and dedication that it was possible to bring an end, a just end, to that endeavour, and to send a strong signal to those who would engage either in state activity or non-state actions, that this could not and would not be tolerated in the future."

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi was jailed for life in January after being convicted by three Scottish judges at Camp Zeist in Holland of bombing Pan Am Flight 103.

He is appealing against his conviction.

A second accused, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, was found not guilty of the atrocity.

All 259 passengers and crew died alongside 11 residents on the ground when the airliner was blown up in the skies over Lockerbie just before Christmas in December, 1988.

Lockerbie megapuff graphic

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11 Jun 01 | World
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