Monday, 8 May 2017

Megrahi “does want matters to proceed”

[What follows is excerpted from a report published in The Herald on this date in 2009:]
The Lockerbie appeal continued yesterday despite the Libyan Government's request to transfer the man convicted of the bombing back to Tripoli.
Legal experts warned that the deal has not yet been agreed and that, although the Libyan Government has made the application, it cannot go ahead without the agreement of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi.
Maggie Scott, QC, told the court that Megrahi, who is suffering from terminal prostate cancer, would be undergoing tests today and next week and that he will not be able to watch but "he wants the matter to proceed".
In order for the transfer to take place, there can be no proceedings active, so Megrahi would have to drop the appeal.
The Crown Office appeal against the length of the 27-year sentence imposed on the Libyan would also have to be dropped. It, too, is currently still live.
Professor Robert Black, one of the architects of the original trial at Camp Zeist, said: "The application is a government-to-government application. The only indication of what Mr Megrahi's attitude towards it is from the mouths of other people. For the transfer to go through, it is Megrahi who would have to agree to drop the appeal."
Megrahi, 57, whose condition is said to have deteriorated considerably, could also re-apply for bail on the basis of his health.
Last year, when three appeal court judges turned down his request for interim liberation, they left it open for him to apply again.
"He is in considerable discomfort," Ms Scott told the court yesterday. "It is anticipated he will be undergoing tests tomorrow and in the course of next week, so it is not anticipated he will be able to witness proceedings over the next series of days. He does, however, want matters to proceed. It is appropriate I point that out to the court."
Dumfries Labour MSP Elaine Murray yesterday expressed concerns that past and current comments made by First Minister Alex Salmond may be considered by the Libyan Government as Scottish ministers having predetermined their application for the transfer of Megrahi to a Libyan jail. She also provided the Libyans with grounds for judicial review should the application be rejected by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.

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