Saturday, 17 June 2017

Effort to limit scope of Lockerbie appeal

[What follows is the text of a report published on the BBC News website on this date in 2008:]

Prosecutors have launched a legal bid to limit the scope of the Lockerbie bomber's appeal against conviction.

Lawyers for Abdelbasset al Megrahi have lodged full grounds of appeal with the Appeal Court in Edinburgh.

But the Crown said it should be limited to the issues raised by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission.

It referred Megrahi's case back to the appeal court last year. Megrahi is serving life for killing 270 people in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103.

It came down over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

Megrahi, 56, is currently in Greenock prison serving a life sentence after being found guilty of mass murder after a trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands in 2001.

He lost his first appeal the following year.

Last June his case was referred back to the appeal court for a second time by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) on a number of specific terms, which have never been fully published.

Advocate depute Ronald Clancy QC told five judges, at the Court of Criminal, that the SCCRC carried out an exhaustive investigation and rejected 90 allegations.

These included numerous conspiracy theories about planting and tampering with evidence, he said.

He said Megrahi's team wanted to be able to return to these but that would be tantamount to allowing a second appeal on the same point as the first.

The hearing to decide on the ultimate scope of Megrahi's appeal is being heard by a panel of five judges and is scheduled to last four days.

[RB: In 2008 the Crown’s attempt to limit the scope of the appeal failed ignominiously. Regrettably, however, the law on this matter has now been altered by the Scottish Parliament. In any new appeal allowed by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (eg in an application by Megrahi’s family) the appeal court would be limited to the specific grounds of referral allowed by the SCCRC unless the court was prepared, in the interests of justice, to permit additional grounds of appeal to be added: Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, section 194(D) (4A) and (4B), as inserted by Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 (asp 13), ss 83, 206(1).]

No comments:

Post a Comment