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Wednesday, 8 August, 2001, 20:57 GMT 21:57 UK
Lawyer confident about Lockerbie appeal
Michael Mansfield
Michael Mansfield has joined Megrahi's appeal team
The Libyan lawyer in charge of the Lockerbie bomber's appeal says he is confident that his client will soon be freed.

Dr Ibrahim Legwell's comments came after it was revealed that two top international legal experts had joined the appeal team.

English barrister Michael Mansfield QC and American human rights lawyer Alan Dershowitz are both involved in the fight to free Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.

The Libyan was sentenced to life imprisonment earlier this year for murdering 270 people in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie.

Abdel Baset Ali Mohammed Al-Megrahi
The Libyan was convicted in January
His co-accused, Al Amin Khalifa Fahima, was found not guilty by three judges at a specially convened Scottish court in the Netherlands.

Speaking from London on Wednesday, Dr Legwell said: "I sent them a copy of the verdict and the transcripts of the trial and asked them for their views and analysis.

"I wanted to know what western lawyers thought about the verdict.

"Their replies gave me the confidence that we can go ahead with the trial with confidence in the western judicial system.

"There are definite aspects which show there has been a miscarriage of justice and I am very confident that we will be able to turn over his conviction."

High profile cases

Professor Dershowitz has a history of involvement in high profile legal cases in the USA and counts Anatoly Shcharansky, OJ Simpson, Claus von Bulow, Christian Brando and Mike Tyson among his former clients.

Michael Mansfield QC is also no stranger to high profile cases having helped secure the release of the Birmingham Six and the Bridgewater Three.

More recently he defended Barry George who was convicted of the murder of television presenter Jill Dando.

Camp Zeist
The trial took place at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands
A further six lawyers have been enlisted to work on Megrahi's appeal.

Among them is Clive Nicholls QC, who represented the former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet during extradition hearings at the High Court in London last year.

High profile American lawyer Frank Rubino has also been recruited to the appeal team

Dr Legwell said he would consult the international legal team for further advice before passing it on to "our Scottish defence team so they can adapt it to Scots law".

Referring to his client, Dr Legwell said: "He is suffering a lot because he knows he is innocent, but has been convicted. But he is optimistic and confident he will win his case."

Megrahi's grounds for appeal were lodged during June but it will not proceed until a report is completed on the trial at Camp Zeist.

When this has been received an appeals judge will decide if a further hearing should take place.


The full Lockerbie opinion on the Scottish Court Service websiteFull verdicts
Lockerbie opinion posted by Scots Court Service
Lockerbie megapuff graphic

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19 Mar 01 | World
More time for Lockerbie appeal
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