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THE CAMP ZEIST VERDICT: COLD STARE OF MASS MURDERER.

Byline: JAMES TAIT

MURDERER Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi stared straight ahead as the High Court judges declared him guilty of killing 270 people.

The father showed no emotion as just feet away, the victims' relatives, cried out with joy and relief that after 12 years, they knew who had killed their sons and daughters.

On the other side of the court, Al Megrahi's family wept in disbelief.

The contrasting scenes came as the tension, built up during the 84 days of the trial, was broken two minutes after former Libyan intelligence officer Megrahi, 48, and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah arrived in the dock.

Both wore the flowing traditional Arab robes, and Fhimah, 44, fidgeted nervously as the judges took their place on the bench.

The silence seemed suffocating after Lord Sutherland confirmed to clerk of court Allan Moffat that the judges had reached their verdict.

Then he said the two words that released the a tide of emotion: "Guilty, unanimously."

A smile flickered across Fhimah's face as he was acquitted, before he left the court with a whisper to Al Megrahi.

Before sentencing, Lord Advocate Colin Boyd QC, reminded the court of the victims of the atrocity.

He said: "More than 400 parents lost a son or a daughter. Forty-six parents lost their only child.

"More than 140 children lost a parent. Sixty-five people were widowed. Seven children lost both parents. Eleven men lost their wives."

Al Megrahi's gaze didn't waver as Lord Sutherland told him: "The mandatory sentence is life."

Leaving his co-accused facing 20 years in Barlinnie jail, Glasgow, Fhimah smirked as he left Camp Zeist under police escort last night.

CAPTION(S):

SMIRKED: Fhimah
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 1, 2001
Words:278
Previous Article:THE CAMP ZEIST VERDICT: We've got the puppet but his master pulling the strings is still free; FAMILIES WANT TO GO AFTER GADDAFI.
Next Article:HE LIVED IN WALES.



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