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Last Updated: Monday, 24 May, 2004, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
Blair meets Lockerbie relatives
Lockerbie crash
The bombing over Lockerbie killed 270 people in 1988
Prime Minister Tony Blair has met relatives of the Lockerbie bombing victims to hear their concerns.

The meeting was held a month before a Crown appeal against the minimum sentence given to the man convicted of the 1988 atrocity is heard.

Last November, Abdelbaset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was ordered to serve a minimum of 27 years in prison by the High Court.

Relatives said they were "encouraged" by the PM's response to their concerns.

Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988.

Megrahi, 51, was found guilty of the bombing after a trial under Scottish law in the Netherlands in 2001.

The prime minister said he is going to look into certain things we raised
Rev John Mosey
A statement issued from the Crown Office on Monday said the latest hearing will be held on Monday, 28 June at the High Court in Glasgow.

The hearing in November last year took place to determine the "punishment part" of Megrahi's mandatory life sentence as required under European Human Rights legislation.

But the Lord Advocate Colin Boyd QC lodged an appeal against that length of term.

The sentence was backdated to April 1999 when Megrahi was extradited from Libya for the trial at Camp Zeist in Holland.

'No stone left unturned'

In appealing against the decision, the Crown Office said the Lord Advocate would challenge the view of the court that 30 years was the maximum punishment part which could be imposed on an individual.

Rev John Mosey
Rev John Mosey said relatives had many unanswered questions

The Rev John Mosey, whose daughter Helga, 19, died in the bombing, said the prime minister had promised to look into the families' concerns.

Rev Mosey said they had raised the question of why Pan Am Flight 103 was the only Trans-Atlantic flight in the busy festive period to fly with empty seats and whether this was due to intelligence that it might be targeted.

"The prime minister said he is going to look into certain things we raised - the fact that there has never been a forum granted to ask the important questions about how this disaster was allowed to happen," he said.

"He has undertaken personally to look into certain matters on warnings and they are going to get back to us.

"We have to wait and see whether he is as good as his word.

"In 1998, here in the Cabinet Office, he said to us that after the trial no stone would be left unturned. We have just reminded him that there are still a lot of stones still to be looked under."

Families' spokesman Dr Jim Swire said they hoped to receive a response from the prime minister "within quite a short timescale".


SEE ALSO:
Tories question Blair Libya trip
24 Mar 04  |  Politics
Lockerbie families demand inquiry
21 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Country profile: Libya
16 Jul 03  |  Country profiles


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