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Reevel Alderson
Reevel Alderson reports
"The verdict is likely to be brought within a fortnight"
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Jim Swire, relatives' spokesman
"It is now entirely up to the judges, they have a hard job to do"
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Tuesday, 9 January, 2001, 15:39 GMT
Guilt of Lockerbie pair 'beyond doubt'
Artist's view of court scene
Lawyers have begun their closing statements
Two of the three charges faced by the Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing have been dropped in the final days of the trial.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah had been charged with murder, conspiracy to murder and contravening the aviation security acts.

But following the summing up of senior prosecutor Alistair Campbell on Tuesday, the men now face one charge - that they murdered 259 people on board Flight Pan Am 103 and 11 in the small Scottish town of Lockerbie.

Mr Campbell said the men's guilt would be proved "beyond reasonable doubt".

The evidence I have reviewed so far is sufficient to prove that the persons killed were murdered."

Alistair Campbell, prosecutor
The lawyer recapped some of the evidence heard during the trial which started on 3 May last year.

Mr Campbell reminded the court about witness Tony Gauci, who alleged that Mr Al Megrahi bought clothing from his shop and which, it was said, was later used to wrap round the bomb.

"It is clear that the clothing which was within the suitcase containing the improvised explosive device included the clothing sold by Mr Gauci to a particular individual," said the prosecutor.

Fhimah's diary

Mr Campbell also detailed evidence of travel arrangements which showed Mr Al Megrahi - a man he described as a "high-ranking officer" in the Libyan intelligence services - travelling between Tripoli, Malta and Switzerland in the days leading up to the bombing.

He said this and "a build up of circumstantial evidence" all pointed towards Mr Al Megrahi's involvement in the Lockerbie bombing.

During the trial the other accused - Mr Fhimah - had been shown to be a close friend of Mr Al Megrahi.

Mr Campbell said it was important not to forget evidence in Mr Fhimah's diary which recorded Mr Al Megrahi's travel arrangements.

Trial details
The two accused are Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, 48, and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, 44
Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988, killing all 259 people on board and another 11 on the ground
The two men deny three charges - murder, conspiracy to murder and a breach of the 1982 Aviation Security Act
The trial is taking place in a Scottish courtroom at Camp Zeist, in the Netherlands
The case is being heard by a panel of Scottish judges
The diary also revealed a reminder to Mr Fhimah to pick up Air Malta luggage tags and take them to Al Megrahi.

He spoke of the forensic evidence gathered from across southern Scotland and into northern England.

Mr Campbell then said: "The evidence I have reviewed so far is sufficient to prove that the persons killed were murdered."

Earlier on Tuesday he had said: "The Crown have proved the case against each of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

"Your lordships will require to be satisfied of guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

"Mathematical certainty is neither necessary nor achievable.

"In my submission the Crown have proved the case against each accused beyond reasonable doubt.

Memorial to Lockerbie dead
A total of 270 died
"The evidence comes from a number of sources which, when taken together, provided a corroborated case both as to the commission of the crime and the identity of the perpetrators.

"I invite you to convict of murder."

Both men deny carrying out the bombing on 21 December, 1988.

The trial could now be over within weeks after defence teams for the accused caused surprise on Monday by saying they would offer no further evidence.

Verdicts soon

The decision by advocates for the pair came after the Syrian Government refused to hand over evidence which was considered vital to the defence case.

Mr Al Megrahi had been expected to give evidence as part of the defence's attempt to establish that Palestinian terror groups, and not Libyans, were responsible for the atrocity.

The prosecution called 230 witnesses, none of whom saw the bomb being placed on the doomed jumbo.

Instead, those leading the case have relied on evidence which they say when put together proves the guilt of the two men.

The defence is expected to argue this evidence is no more than coincidences and fails the tough test which must be passed to gain convictions.

The judges are likely to begin considering their verdicts at the end of the week.

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See also:

08 Jan 01 | Lockerbie Trial
Lockerbie defence cut short
08 Jan 01 | Lockerbie Trial
Analysis: Conclusion of Lockerbie evidence
31 Dec 00 | Scotland
Moderator to visit Lockerbie prison
21 Dec 00 | Scotland
Tribute on Lockerbie anniversary
05 Dec 00 | Lockerbie Trial
Lockerbie defence case begins
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