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banner Tuesday, 9 January, 2001, 11:28 GMT
Lockerbie trial 'much shorter'
Camp Zeist
The indictment was served at the special jail
The Lockerbie trial was originally expected to last a year, but two months into the proceedings, that estimate was cut.

The Crown Office had said it proposed calling more than 1,000 witnesses and that there would be almost 1,500 documents and 550 other articles of evidence.

But on 26 July, it emerged in court that agreements between the prosecution and defence meant the trial would be "many months" shorter than anticipated.

The 1,000 witnesses figure emerged when the two men were served with the indictment accusing them of conspiracy and murder following the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am Boeing 747 airliner, which claimed 270 lives.

The indictment, running to more 5,800 words, was served on Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifah Fhimah by prison officers at the Camp Zeist temporary detention centre in the Netherlands.

Cockpit scene
The blast killed 270 people
It stated that the two men were members of the Libyan Intelligence Services and conspired, along with others, to destroy Pan Am flight 103 and murder those on board and 11 people in the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

Three charges of conspiracy, murder and contravention of the Aviation Security Act (1984) were listed on the indictment.

It also listed the names of the 270 people killed in the disaster, which happened in December 1988.

It alleged the two men conspired to cause the explosion, while they were members of the Libyan Intelligence Services.

New York

It also alleged that the men placed a suitcase containing explosives hidden in a radio on a flight in Malta for onward travel to John F Kennedy Airport, New York.

The suitcase also contained a timing device which caused the explosion in the hold of Flight 103 above Lockerbie, murdering 270 people, including 11 residents of the town.

The two men were formally extradited into Scottish custody on 5 March this year and remanded in custody at a special hearing in the Netherlands on 6 March.

On 9 January, following the summing up of prosecutor Alistair Campbell QC, two of the three charges were dropped.

The decision not to pursue the conspiracy to murder and contravention of the Aviation Security Act 1984 left the men facing one charge only - that of murder.

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29 Oct 99 | World
Lockerbie charges in full
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