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Lockerbie defence attacks prosecution's evidence.

AIRLINE INDUSTRY INFORMATION-(C)1997-2001 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

A defence lawyer in the Lockerbie bombing trial has attacked the prosecution's evidence as 'fraught with confusion.'

Attorney William Taylor attacked testimony given by a Maltese shopkeeper who claims to have sold clothing to one of the accused, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi. The prosecution alleged that fragments of the clothing were found in the suitcase bomb used to bring down Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988. Taylor claims the shopkeeper's evidence is filled with mistakes on dates and identities and should be disregarded, The Associated Press reported.

The defence team maintains that the bombing was not carried out by the two Libyan men on trial, but by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command, which was suspected early on in the investigation.

A Sky News report indicated that the defence further suggested that the bomb could have been planted at London-Heathrow airport rather than in Malta and Frankfurt as claimed by the prosecution. Taylor suggested that inadequate security at the UK airport could have meant that a passenger took the bomb on board in London or that the bomb ended up in the luggage container by extraordinary chance.

Al-Megrahi and fellow Libyan, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, both deny the charges of murder against them. The explosion of Pan Am flight 103 killed all 259 people on board and 11 people on the ground.

The defence team is expected to take the rest of the week to wrap up its argument.

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Publication:Airline Industry Information
Date:Jan 17, 2001
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