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Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Lockerbie luggage returned
Baggage container in which the bomb was placed
The baggage container in which the bomb was placed
Police in Scotland are about to return to families the remaining luggage and personal effects of those who died in the Lockerbie bombing.

Baggage belonging to more than 100 people has been retained by investigators since 1988 in case it was needed as evidence.

The items are being handed back following the dismissal last month of the appeal by Abdelbaset ali Mohmed-al Megrahi against his murder conviction.

The New York-bound Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie in 1988, killing all 259 people on board and 11 more on the ground.

Abdelbaset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi
Al-Megrahi: Locked in Scottish jail

Thousands of items of luggage and clothing were painstakingly recovered by police from miles of Scottish Borders countryside.

Much of it was given back to the victims' relatives but some which was, or might have been, used as evidence was held back.

A team of nine officers and two support staff from Dumfries and Galloway Police is now preparing to return it to families in Britain, America and elsewhere.

'Destruction' request

Forty-three families have asked for their property to be delivered in person while 47 are happy to have it posted.

Twelve others have asked for their relatives' remaining effects to be destroyed.

Detective chief superintendent Tom McCulloch said the return of the property would be an emotional experience and all the officers involved had had advance counselling.

Camp Zeist
Camp Zeist, where the case was heard

The process is expected to start next month and take up to eight weeks to complete.

Earlier this month, the Scottish Executive formally returned the site of the trial at Camp Zeist to the Dutch Government.

Al-Megrahi was found guilty in January 2001 following a trial under Scottish law in the Netherlands.

His co-accused, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, was found not guilty at the original hearing.

Al-Megrahi's appeal against his conviction was rejected by judges at the special Scottish court on 14 March this year and he was then transferred to Glasgow's Barlinnie Prison.

Lockerbie megapuff graphic

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16 Apr 02 | Scotland
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