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Wednesday, 12 July, 2000, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Witnesses pull out of Lockerbie trial
Police officers outside the court
Police officers outside the Scottish court
The trial of two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing has been adjourned for two days after a group of witnesses refused to testify.

Proceedings are due to resume on Friday at the Scottish court in the Netherlands.

For the Crown, Alistair Campbell QC told the court that the witnesses in Malta were not prepared to give evidence.
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, in Camp Zeist, in the Netherlands, is expected to last a year
About 1,000 witnesses are expected to be called
The case is being heard by three Scottish judges
This meant that the the prosecution would have to restructure the presentation of its evidence in discussion with defence counsel.

At this point, he had no further witnesses, Mr Campbell said.

Court spokesman Richard Bailey said the witnesses had refused to come after "quite lengthy negotiations".

They had been summoned to discuss events at Luqa airport on Malta, but declined to give their names or elaborate.

A prosecution official said the witnesses were airport staff workers.

However, she denied that the absence of their evidence would hurt the prosecution's case.

The judges cannot compel non-British witnesses to testify in the proceedings.

On Tuesday, the trial heard that fragments of a baby romper suit recovered from the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 were traced back to a clothes shop in Malta.

The blue Babygro was said to have been in the suitcase carrying the bomb which blew the plane apart above Lockerbie.

All the items were bought by a Libyan man who went into Tony Gauci's outfitters in the Maltese town of Sliema just days earlier.

Mr Gauci picked out one of the accused - Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi - as being someone who "resembled" the man who visited his shop, although he could not positively identify him.

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See also:

11 Jul 00 | World
'Malta link' in Lockerbie chain
29 Jun 00 | World
Libyans' passports examined
28 Jun 00 | World
Bomb timer maker faces court
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