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 You are in: Special Report: 1998: 12/98: Lockerbie  
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Lockerbie Thursday, 17 December, 1998, 15:24 GMT
Key facts on Lockerbie
The explosion
21 December 1988: Pan Am flight 103 from Frankfurt to New York, via London, explodes over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. All 259 passengers and crew were killed, as were 11 residents of Lockerbie.

Investigation
14 November 1991: A three-year investigation concludes with the Lord Advocate, Scotland's chief law officer, obtaining a warrant for the arrest of two Libyans, Abdel Baset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah. The charges against them are conspiracy, murder and contravention of the Aviation Security Act of 1982. An indictment is also issued in the US containing similar accusations.

8 December 1991: A seven year wrangle over the suspects begins when Libya, concerned they would not receive a fair trial in Scotland, refuses to hand the men over. Libya maintains its stance despite the introduction of UN sanctions on air travel and arms sales in April 1992 and a tightening of sanctions in December 1993.

20 April 1998: In a meeting with a representative of Lockerbie victims, Colonel Gaddafi apparently agrees to hand over two suspects for trial by a Scottish judge in a neutral country. Three months later, as several countries defy the UN sanctions, Britain and the United States propose a trial in a third country under Scottish law would be acceptable.

November 1998: Dutch authorities set aside a former air force base for the trial at Camp Zeist near Utrecht. But a key sticking point remains over where the two suspects, if found guilty, would serve their sentences. Libya refuses to allow them to be jailed in Scotland.

The accused
Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah:
Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah: 42-years-old, also alleged to to belong to Libyan intelligence and to have been station officer of Libyan Arab Airlines in Malta.

Abdel Baset al-Megrahi
Abdel Baset al-Megrahi: 46-years-old, is alleged to have been a senior officer of the Libyan Intelligence Services. Head of Libyan Arab Airlines security in Malta in December 1988, he is alleged to have bought clothes in a Maltese store that were contained in the suitcase bomb on board flight 103.

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The BBC's Joshua Rozenberg looks back at events since the Lockerbie disaster
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