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MSPs reject call to close petition for inquiry into Megrahi conviction

A HOLYROOD committee has rejected a Tory MSP's call to close a petition demanding an independent inquiry into the conviction of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.

Margaret Mitchell, MSP for Central Scotland, had called for the Justice for Megrahi campaign's petition to be closed, as it took the committee "off at a tangent" from the inquiry into Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi's conviction.

The committee rejected that, with John Finnie MSP saying it would be "inappropriate" when a live criminal inquiry was ongoing.

Instead, MSPs on the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee are hoping to find out if moves have been made that could lead to a further appeal on behalf of Megrahi.

It will contact the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC), an independent body that investigates possible miscarriages of justice.

Committee convener Christine Grahame said they would be seeking to discover if any application or inquiry had been made, by any member of the Megrahi family or anyone with an interest, to the SCCRC.

Sir Stephen House, the chief constable of Police Scotland, will also be written to, as MSPs are worried allegations about the original Lockerbie investigation are being sidelined.

The Justice for Megrahi campaign has made allegations of criminality during the investigation of the Lockerbie disaster.

Detective superintendent Stuart Johnstone has written to the group's secretary, Robert Forrester, saying a "conflict" with the live investigation into the case remained "unresolved".

Ms Grahame was "very cross" with the lack of information regarding any investigation into Justice for Megrahi's allegations.

In December, the Libyan attorney general appointed two prosecutors for the case, and they met with Scottish and US investigators for the first time.

Megrahi is the only person to have been convicted of the bombing, in which 270 died.

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Local government

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