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EDITIONS
Monday, 19 March, 2001, 16:05 GMT
More time for Lockerbie appeal
Flight 103 wreckage
Megrahi was found guilty of mass murder
Lawyers acting for the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing have been granted an extra six weeks to work on his appeal.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi was found guilty of killing 270 people in the 1988 bomb attack on Pan Am airliner Flight 103.

However, shortly after his conviction, the 48-year-old's legal team announced that he would seek to appeal.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi
Al Megrahi's lawyers quickly launched an appeal
A Scottish courts official said: "The lawyers have been granted an extension of six weeks from the 21st of March."

Al Megrahi was convicted on 31 January at a special Scottish Court in the Netherlands, which was set up for his trial and that of co-accused Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah.

Fhimah was found not guilty but Al Megrahi was sentenced to life imprisonment with a recommendation by the court that he serve at least 20 years in jail.

Al Megrahi's legal team announced on 7 February that he would appeal against the conviction and was given a statutory six weeks from that date in which to provide full written reasons for the appeal.

Al Megrahi maintained his innocence throughout the duration of the trial.

His lawyers insisted that he had nothing to do with the atrocity and said it was carried out by Palestinian terrorists.

'No automatic right'

But the three judges, who heard 84 days of evidence, convicted him of the biggest mass murder in British history.

BBC Scotland Home Affairs Correspondent, Reevel Alderson, said: "Lawyers for Megrahi announced their intention to appeal eight days after he was sentenced to life imprisonment.

"So far, they have not revealed upon what grounds they're appealing; there is no requirement for them to do so.

"There is no automatic right to appeal in Scots Law.

"If a judge examining the appeal application allows it to go forward, it will be heard by a panel of five judges at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands unless Megrahi decides it can be heard in Edinburgh in his absence."

It is likely the long-drawn-out process will run for some time.


Full verdicts
Lockerbie opinion posted by Scots Court Service
Lockerbie megapuff graphic

AUDIO VIDEO

Appeal concludes

Key stories

Features

The trial
See also:

07 Feb 01 | In Depth
05 Feb 01 | In Depth
02 Feb 01 | Middle East
05 Feb 01 | Americas
02 Feb 01 | Middle East
05 Feb 01 | Middle East
01 Feb 01 | In Depth
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