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Wednesday, 31 January, 2001, 20:09 GMT
Lockerbie Libyan heads for freedom
Mr Fhimah heads for freedom under police escort
Mr Fhimah leaves Camp Zeist under police escort
The Libyan man cleared of the Lockerbie airliner bombing has left the trial site in the Netherlands at the start of his journey home.

Al Amin Khalifah Fhimah, 44, was driven from Camp Zeist under police escort to an undisclosed location.

Judges had earlier found him not guilty of blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988 with the loss of 270 lives.

"He will be taken to a place in the Netherlands that we are keeping secret," a Dutch Justice Ministry spokesman told the French news agency AFP in The Hague.

Mr Fhimah had spent nearly two years on remand at Camp Zeist, a former US airbase declared Scottish territory for the purposes of the trial.

His co-accused, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, remains behind bars pending the outcome of an appeal against his life sentence for murder.


You are discharged and free to go

Presiding Judge Lord Sutherland
Mr Fhimah said his final farewells to Megrahi and his legal team in the afternoon.

He has 24 hours to leave Dutch soil following his departure from Camp Zeist which is now being wound down, a spokesman for the Scottish court said.

He is expected shortly to be returned to Libya on a special flight.

The judges said in their unanimous verdict that there was insufficient evidence to convict Mr Fhimah of the crimes with which he was charged.

"You are discharged and free to go," Mr Fhimah was told.

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