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Home affairs correspondent Reevel Alderson
"Six days before the Lockerbie bombing, there were two entries in the diary"
 real 28k

Thursday, 5 October, 2000, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Lockerbie trial hears diary evidence
Lockerbie trial policemen
There is tight security at the Lockerbie trial
One of the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing allegedly made a note in his diary shortly before the atrocity to collect airline tags.

On the same day, a diary entry said the other accused man would be arriving in Malta from Zurich, the trial at Camop Zeist has heard.

Earlier the trial judges ruled, after legal arguments, that the diary belonging to Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah was admissable in evidence.

Defence lawyers have been arguing for three days that the diary was improperly obtained by Scottish police.

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 three Scottish judges
The defence team had objected to the diary being used on the grounds that it had been obtained in an illegal search during investigations in April 1991.

But on Thursday, the presiding judge, Lord Sutherland, rejected the plea and told the special hearing in the Netherlands that it could be used.

He said: "In all these circumstances it appears to us that such irregularity as occurred can properly be regarded as excusable.

"It is further significant that this is of course a murder case. And in such a case the public interest in the prosecution of a criminal has to be given due weight."

An Arabic translator questioned about the diary said there were two entries six days before the Lockerbie bombing.

'Get tags'

One said to get tags from Air Malta, while the other said that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi - the other accused in the case - would be arriving from Zurich.

The court has already heard Megrahi was in Switzerland, where it is alleged that he obtained detonators.

Both of the accused sat impassively listening to Arabic translations of the evidence as it was disclosed, turning occasionally to talk to their counsel.

The prosecution alleges that Fhimah and Megrahi, who was the head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines at Luqa Airport, in Malta, were both members of the Libyan Intelligence Service.

It is alleged they used their positions to place a bomb in a suitcase aboard an Air Malta flight to Frankfurt, which was then routed onto Pan Am flight 103.

The trial continues.

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See also:

03 Oct 00 | World
Lockerbie diary evidence debate
26 Sep 00 | World
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21 Sep 00 | World
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31 Aug 00 | World
The Lockerbie trial and the CIA
30 Aug 00 | World
Spy's court date on hold
29 Aug 00 | World
Judges reject CIA papers plea
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