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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 12:43 GMT 13:43 UK
Lockerbie bomber appeal dates set
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi
Megrahi was convicted of the Lockerbie bombing in 2001
The appeal launched by Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi over his 27-year minimum prison sentence is to be heard in July, it has emerged.

An appeal by the Crown Office arguing for a longer sentence for the Libyan will also be heard at the same time.

The Crown will claim the minimum period Megrahi must serve is too lenient.

A panel of five judges will hear the case on 11 and 12 July, although it has not yet been decided whether it will take place in Edinburgh or Glasgow.

The High Court in Glasgow is closer to Greenock Prison, where Megrahi is currently being held, if he wants to be present is likely to be used for security reasons.

The Libyan was found guilty in 2001 of killing 270 people in the 1988 bombing of PanAm flight 103.

He has claimed the 27-year minimum sentence is too long, having been told at his original trial that he should serve at least 20 years.

However, the Crown will argue that the maximum punishment period that courts can impose in murder cases should be raised and with it the length of time Megrahi should remain in prison before he can apply for release on parole.

The appeals will not affect the work of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission which has been studying the case for almost two years to see if there was a miscarriage of justice.

It said it would announce its decision in the summer.

Watch a report on the Lockerbie bomber's appeal

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