Page last updated at 09:10 GMT, Friday, 14 November 2008

Lockerbie bomber awaits bail fate

Judges will decide whether Megrahi is released from jail

A verdict is due to be announced on a bid for release by the man jailed for the Lockerbie bombing.

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi has applied for interim liberation after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Judges at the High Court in Edinburgh will announce whether the application has been successful.

His legal team has argued there is a "compelling case" for his release but prosecutors have said the gravity of the crime means he should stay in jail.

Megrahi is serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years for the 1988 atrocity in which 270 people died.

He is currently in the process of making a second appeal against that conviction.

Last week a bid was made to allow him to be released to reside with his family in Scotland while receiving medical treatment.

I believe Magrahi murdered my son and 269 other people and I believe he should rot in jail
Bob Monetti

The Lord Justice General, Lord Hamilton, will deliver the judgment with Lord Kingarth and Lord Wheatley.

Megrahi will not be present in court.

It is understood that whatever the judges' decision, there would be no appeal which could mean Megrahi would be freed later on Friday.

However, if that were to happen, he would be placed under strict conditions on his movements and where he lived.

Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the bombing, told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "My listening of the evidence at the trial convinced me that the guy wasn't guilty as charged so I'm not looking at someone I consider to be responsible for murdering my daughter."

However, Bob Monetti, an American whose son Rick was also killed, said Megrahi should not be given bail.

"I believe Magrahi murdered my son and 269 other people and I believe he should rot in jail," he said.

"I have been really upset because most of the people in Scotland seem to have a different opinion on the whole thing.

"My concern is that, God forbid, they should let him out on bail. He will be out of the country in a couple of hours and no-one in the UK will really care much about it."

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