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Last Updated: Friday, 4 June, 2004, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Bomber will not attend appeals
Abdelbaset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi
Megrahi will not be in court for the hearings
Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi does not intend to appear in person in court during appeals about his sentence, it has emerged.

Appeal court judges in Edinburgh will decide at a later date when the hearings will take place.

The Crown is to appeal against the "unduly lenient" 27-year sentence.

Megrahi was found guilty of murdering 270 people who died when a Pan Am jet was blown up over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988.

Earlier this week it was announced that the former Libyan intelligence officer would also challenge the court ruling that he must serve at least 27 years.

New diet

It had been expected that judges would set dates for both appeals at Friday's procedural hearing.

The Crown's appeal was already set to be heard in Glasgow on 28 June.

However, after agreeing to discharge the 28 June hearing, the judges simply ruled that "a new diet will be fixed on a date to be arranged".

Lord Kirkwood told the court he understood that leave for Megrahi to appeal had not yet been granted, but that they would proceed on the assumption that it would.

Counsel for Megrahi, Margaret Scott QC, said she anticipated that the appeal hearing would take between two and three days.

'Discharge the diet'

She added that her client, who was not present in court, does not propose to attend any future appeal hearings.

Alan Turnbull QC, for the Crown, said he believed it would be "sensible and appropriate" for both hearings to be heard at the same time.

Lord Kirkwood, sitting with Lords Macfadyen and Nimmo Smith, said: "We will discharge the diet fixed for 28 June and a new diet will be arranged on a date to be fixed.

"I take account of the estimate that has been given of two to three days being required for the hearing."

It is understood that the two appeals will be heard together, in Edinburgh, at some point later this year.


SEE ALSO:
Lockerbie bomber fights sentence
31 May 04  |  Scotland
Blair meets Lockerbie relatives
24 May 04  |  Scotland
Lockerbie bomber 'is innocent'
13 Mar 04  |  Scotland
Libya accepts Lockerbie blame
25 Feb 04  |  Africa


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