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Families in bid to overturn Megrahi conviction

BRITISH families of the Lockerbie disaster victims will shortly launch an attempt to overturn the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi.

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) has been made aware that it will soon receive an application to review the conviction.

The third appeal attempt is being made by Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora, 23, was on board Flight 103, as well as several other victims' family members.

Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of the murder of the 259 passengers and crew on board Pan American World Airways flight 103 from London to New York, and 11 residents of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988.

He subsequently appealed his conviction and his appeal was refused by the High Court in 2002.

Megrahi then appealed to the SCCRC for a review of his conviction in 2003. His case was referred to the High Court for a new appeal but he abandoned this case in 2009 when he was released from prison on compassionate grounds.

Gerard Sinclair, chief executive of the SCCRC, said before the commission accepts the application, it must decide whether or not Dr Swire has a "legitimate interest" to pursue an appeal on behalf of Megrahi.

He added: "If it is decided that Dr Swire has a legitimate interest the Commission will also require to address whether it is in the interests of justice to accept a further review in the conviction of Mr Megrahi.

"In considering this matter the Commission will be required to address the fact that Mr Megrahi abandoned his appeal in 2009 after a referral from the Commission and that neither he nor any member of his family lodged an application for a further review of his conviction prior to his death in May 2012."

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