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Byline: Mark McGivern

PROSECUTORS will step up their bid to bring the Lockerbie bomber's accomplices to justice after his death yesterday.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi died of cancer nearly three years after being freed from a Scottish prison and sent home to Libya to die.

David Cameron said: "Today is a day to remember the 270 people who died in what was an appalling terrorist act."

And Susan Cohen, whose Turn to Page 2

From Page One daughter Theodora, 20, died in the atrocity, said: "I detest Megrahi, he was monstrous, and I hope his death was extremely painful and horrible."

The Scottish Government said they want the probe into the bombing to continue after top prosecutor Frank Mullholland met FBI chief Robert Mueller in Libya.

But Jim Swire inisted Megrahi was innocent. Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the bombing and is part of the Justice For Megrahi group, said: "It's a very sad event."

David Ben-Ayreah, a spokesman for some British victims, said: "As someone who attended the trial, I have never taken the view that Megrahi was guilty. He is the 271st victim of Lockerbie."

First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Our first thoughts are with the families of the Lockerbie atrocity, whose pain and suffering has been ongoing now for over 23 years.

"Today's news was not unexpected. His death does, however, put to rest some of the conspiracy theories which have attempted to suggest that his illness was somehow manufactured."

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC said: "The investigation into the Lockerbie bombing will continue, to bring to justice the others involved in this act of state-sponsored terrorism."

Last month, Mulholland, visited Libya to discuss the investigation.

He was joined by Mueller, and they had talks with the Libyan prime minister.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Salmond said: "The Lord Advocate went to Libya with the full co-operation of the new government with the intention of pursuing fresh lines of inquiry in the Lockerbie investigation."

y Megrahi is the only person to have been convicted in connection with the attack on Pan Am flight 103. on c-m The jumbo jet was blown up over Lockerbie on its journey from London to New York on December 21, 1988. ver om ber w as were All 259 passengers and crew well as 11 people in Lockerbie killed. Moves to step up the inquiry the attack began last December, following the downfall of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, when Lord Advocate held talks Mueller and US attorney general Eric Holder.

into mber, byan n the with neral At the time, Mullholland said: think I would be failing in my I didn't seek to take advantage opportunity that has opened up the fall of Gaddafi. I am determined get the answers these families deserve." aid: "I duty if of the p with ined to milies The Transitional National Government in Libya told the Foreign Office last year it would allow police from Dumfries and Galloway to travel to the country to continue their probe.

Megrahi, 60, died of prostate cancer yesterday at his home in Tripoli, where he'd lived since being freed from Greenock Prison on compassionate grounds nearly three years ago.

The news of his death was welcomed by those who are in no doubt he was responsible for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103.

Former FBI agent Richard Marquise worked on the Megrahi case for three years. He said: "I'm personally convinced that the man is guilty."

Susan Cohen, 74, said Megrahi should have received the death penalty.

She said: "He died with his family around him. My daughter died a horrible death when she was 20 with her full life ahead of her. You call that justice? "I feel no pity for Megrahi, I believe he should have died a lot sooner. He should have been tried in the States and given the death penalty.

"We cannot let his death stand in the way of finding out who else was involved in the bombings and the specifics of how it was done."

Libyan intelligence officer Megrahi was found guilty after a trial at a Scottish court set up in the neutral ground of Camp Zeist, a military base in the Netherlands in 2001.

His co-accused, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, was found not guilty while Megrahi was sentenced to life with a minimum recommendation of 20 years.

His first appeal was unsuccesful and a second was abandoned when he accepted the option which allowed him to be freed on compassionate grounds.

He had been given just three months to live, but this stretched into months and years and it stoked criticism of "soft" Scottish justice.

Anger grew after he was given a hero's welcome to his home in Tripoli and further controversy emerged from revelations that UK and Scottish business interests could have been behind the release.

The introduction of new laws on double jeopardy in Scotland, which will allow previously cleared suspects to be tried again, may allow prosecutors to attempt a fresh trial of Fhimah.

Last August, he denied any links to the atrocity and insisted he too was a victim of deposed and executed Colonel Gaddafi.

Likewise, Megrahi always insisted he was innocent but he kept a relative silence after his release, living in the family villa in Tripoli.

News of his death was confirmed by his son, Khaled al-Megrahi.

His brother, Abdulhakim, said: "He was too sick to utter anything on his death bed."

Swire became close friends with Megrahi. He said: "I met him last time in Tripoli in December last year, when he was very sick and in a lot of pain.

"It was inevitable that the cancer would kill him. It was a really personal goodbye.

"Right up to the end he was determined, for his family's sake, that the verdict be overturned."

Veteran Scots politician Tam Dalyell led a campaign to clear Megrahi's name.

He said: "I feel sad because people knew very well that the man was a scapegoat and was innocent of this terrible, terrible crime.

"It was convenient that he was a scapegoat for Britain and the US at a time when they wanted to go to war in Iraq.

"It makes me feel ashamed as a politician and ashamed of the Scottish justice system."

Colonel Gaddafi handed over Megrahi and Fhimah to Scottish authorities in 1999 after years of UN sanctions.

Four years later, in 2003, Gaddafi wledged responsibility, but not for the bombing and paid nsation of about pounds 1.7billion ms' families.

regime maintained they anded the suspects over d compensation to win the of sanctions.

acknowledged guilt, compensation to victims' The only handed and paid lifting At the the prosecution's around board discovered wreckage.

e Camp Zeist trial in 2001, osecution's case was built a tiny fragment of circuit iscovered among the airline ge.

s t igators Investigators August 21 - The UK - Megrahi found that Megrahi travelled to Malta on false passport a day before the suitcase was checked in and left the next day.

Key to convicting Megrahi was the testimony of a Malta shopkeeper who identified him as having bought a in his w Malt keeper ide b man's shirt store.

Megrahi is su by his wife, and five child survived Aisha, children.

1988 December 21 - 270 die as Pan Am flight 103 explodes over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. 2001 January 31 - Following a trial at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi is found guilty of mass murder and jailed for life. His co-accused Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah is cleared. 2002 March 14 - Megrahi loses an appeal against his conviction.

2003 August 19 - Libya accepts the blame for the Lockerbie bombing and agrees to compensate the victims' families.

2003 September 23 - The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission are asked to investigate Megrahi's conviction. 2004 March - Prime Minister Tony Blair offers Colonel Muammar Gaddafi "the hand of friendship" following talks with the Libyan leader in a tent outside Tripoli.

2004 May - Talks between Blair and Gaddafi result in a memorandum of understanding. Negotiations begin on a prisoner transfer agreement. An exploration and 2b b Gmun Ne a p agr An production sharing agreement between oil giant BP and the Libyan government is signed. 2007 August 19 - Libya accepts the blame for the Lockerbie bombing and agrees to compensate the victims' families.

2008 September - Megrahi is diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.

itc2 S an be ho com 2009 August 20 - Scottish Government announce Megrahi is to be returned to his home country on compassionate grounds.

August 21 - The UK and the US condemn the "hero's welcome" given to Megrahi as he arrives in Tripoli to cheering crowds.

2011 July 26 - Megrahi appears in a televised pro-government rally in Libya and says his conviction was the result of a "conspiracy".

September 6 - Megrahi's son says he wants the people of Scotland and the UK to see how ill his father is and allows the BBC into the family's Tripoli home. October 10 - Megrahi says "new facts" surrounding the bombing would be announced in the coming months.

October 20 - Gaddafi is killed by rebels in Sirte. 2012 April 13 - Megrahi has a blood transfusion after his health "deteriorated quickly".

May 20 - Reports emerge that the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing has died.


ALEX SALMOND 'Our first thoughts are with families of the Lockerbie atrocity.' COHEN FAMILY 'I detest Megrahi, he was monstrous, and I hope his death was painful' CAPTION J fdhjbkfglhbkx hfd-JIM SWIRE 'It's very sad. He was determined that the verdict be overturned' TAM DALYELL 'I feel sad because people knew very well that the man was a scapegoat'



HORROR J The wreckage of the Pan Am 747's cockpit lies in a field near Lockerbie in 1988 KILLER 3 Megrahi is the only person convicted over the atrocity DEATHBED Z Megrahi's brother with him when he died in Tripoli HUNT J Memorial to victims left, Frank Mullholland, above left, Robert Mueller, middle, and Megrahi's co-accused Fhimah DYING Z Megrahai gives an interview last October SUSPECT J Megrahi with security officers in Tripoli in 1992 FREED J Megrahi with Gaddafiafter his release in DI DI DI DI DI DI DISA SA SA SA SA SA SAST ST ST ST STER ER ER ER J Our front DISASTER J Our front page GU GU GU GU GU GUIL IL IL IL IL ILTY TY TY TY TY TY J Ou Ou Our coverage of GUILTY J Our coverage verdict in 2001 RELEASE J RE RE RE RE RELE LE LE LE LEAS AS AS AS AS ASE JD Decision to Decision free bomber
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Title Annotation:News; Front Page
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:6LIBY
Date:May 21, 2012
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