Petition for inquiry into Lockerbie bomber conviction on hold for police report

MSPs have agreed to keep open a petition for an independent inquiry into the conviction of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Holyrood's Justice Committee has been considering the long-running bid from Justice for Megrahi campaigners over Megrahi's conviction in 2001 for the 1988 bombing which killed 270 people.

The committee has decided to keep the petition open pending the completion of Police Scotland's Operation Sandwood.

Officers are investigating nine allegations of criminality levelled by Justice for Megrahi at the Crown Office, police, and forensic officials involved in the investigation and legal processes relating to Megrahi's conviction.

MSPs on the committee were told that the operation was in its final stages but "certain aspects" were not fully concluded. They heard that Police Scotland were "as yet not in a position to suggest when the report will be made public".

Justice for Megrahi had requested that the petition remain open until Crown Office consideration of the police report is complete.

Megrahi was jailed for 27 years but was released home to Libya on compassionate grounds in 2009 and died of prostate cancer aged 60 three years later. He lost an appeal against his conviction in 2002, with the SCCRC recommending in 2007 that he should be granted a second appeal.

He dropped the second attempt to overturn his conviction in 2009, ahead of his return to Libya, but his widow Aisha and son Ali have lodged a new bid to appeal against his conviction five years after his death.

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