Lockerbie investigation continues despite failed Megrahi appeal – Lord Advocate

The investigation into the Lockerbie bombing continues 32 years on from the atrocity, Scotland’s top prosecutor has said.

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC and Police Scotland reiterated their commitment to the inquiry after the son of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi lost an appeal against his late father’s conviction.

Megrahi is the only person convicted of bombing Pan Am flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie on December 21 1988, killing 270 people.

After the third appeal against his conviction was rejected, the Lord Advocate said: “For 32 years, the families of the 270 people murdered on the night of 21 December 1988 have shown dignity in the face of the loss they have suffered. Our thoughts are with them again today.

“The bombing of Pan Am 103 is, to this day, the deadliest terrorist attack on UK soil and the largest homicide case Scotland’s prosecutors have ever encountered in terms of scale and of complexity.

“The evidence gathered by Scottish, US and international law enforcement agencies has again been tested in the Appeal Court, and the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi stands.

“After Megrahi was convicted in 2001 my predecessor as Lord Advocate, Lord Boyd of Duncansby, confirmed to the Scottish Parliament that the investigation into the involvement of others in this terrible crime would continue.

“I reiterate that commitment today.

“For almost 20 years since that date, Scottish police and prosecutors have continued the search for evidence. This work will continue, and there remain suspects under active investigation.”

A second suspect, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, stood trial with Megrahi but was acquitted.

The US Justice Department charged a “third conspirator” in connection with the bombing on the 32nd anniversary of the atrocity last month.

Police Scotland said it would continue to work with the Crown Office and international partners as investigations continue.

Disasters and Accidents – Terrorism – Pan Am Flight 103 Bombing – Lockerbie
Disasters and Accidents – Terrorism – Pan Am Flight 103 Bombing – Lockerbie

Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said: “The bombing of Pan Am 103 and the terrible loss of 270 lives has had a profound impact in Lockerbie, Scotland, and internationally.

“On behalf of the Police Service of Scotland, I pay tribute to the families of the victims who have demonstrated courage and dignity for over 30 years and my thoughts remain with them today.

“Since 1988, policing in Scotland has been committed to carrying out the largest terrorist and murder investigation ever undertaken in this country.

“Police Scotland will continue to work closely on this investigation with the Crown Office, our American law enforcement colleagues and other international partners.”

Scotland’s Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “My thoughts continue to be with all those who lost loved ones on that terrible evening more than 30 years ago.

“The strength and compassion they have shown has created a legacy of friendship and ensured that the memory of those who died lives on.

Hate Crime and Public Order Bill
Hate Crime and Public Order Bill

“The Scottish Government has always been clear that as Mr al-Megrahi was convicted in a court of law, that is the only appropriate forum for determining his guilt or innocence.

“The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission referred Mr al-Megrahi’s conviction back to the Appeal Court, through established procedures, because it believed that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred.

“Having heard the appeal on behalf of the late Mr al-Megrahi, the Appeal Court has determined that there was no miscarriage of justice and his conviction for his part in the Lockerbie bombing stands.

“The Scottish Government does not comment on nor intervene in any criminal case. The investigation into the Lockerbie bombing remains ongoing.”