Megrahi publishes appeal grounds on website, is ‘deplored’ by Lord Advocate

On 18 September 2009 Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the convicted Lockerbie bomber, published on a website material giving the grounds of his unfinished appeals against conviction.

The home page says that the website's purpose is "to explain the basis of [his] challenge to the conviction".  He will publish first those parts of his grounds of appeal that were considered between 28 April and 19 May this year, and then later those grounds that would have been argued in later stages of the appeal this winter had it gone ahead. 

The Crown Office issued the following statement on the matter:

"The Lord Advocate, the Right Honourable Elish Angiolini QC, has criticised the publication of selected material relating to his appeal by Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the convicted Lockerbie bomber. 

"Mrs Angiolini said:

"I deplore the efforts by Abdelbaset Megrahi to challenge his conviction through selective publication of his view of the evidence in the media after he has abandoned his second appeal against conviction.   
 
"The only appropriate forum for the determination of guilt or innocence is the criminal court. Mr Megrahi was convicted unanimously by three senior judges following trial and his conviction was upheld unanimously by five judges, in an Appeal Court presided over by the Lord Justice General, Scotland?s most senior judge.  Mr Megrahi remains convicted of the worst terrorist atrocity in UK history .

"The Crown has supported the conviction vigorously and stood ready, willing and able to do so throughout the appeal process which Mr Megrahi abandoned.

"As he and his legal team have made clear, the decision to discontinue the appeal proceedings was taken voluntarily by Mr Megrahi himself.  He did not require to abandon his appeal.  Having done so, he now seeks to retry his case in the media and criticise the evidence against him.  Mr Megrahi exercised his right of silence throughout the judicial proceedings. 

"The only evidence that the trial court ever heard from Mr Megrahi was in the television interview which he gave, after publication of the criminal charges in 1991, to the veteran journalist Pierre Salinger.  In that interview, which was played to the trial court by the prosecution, Mr Salinger put to him the detailed allegations and his responses on many important matters were disproved and discredited in the trial."

The BBC reported on 2 October 2009 that Megrahi had placed more material from his appeal documentation on the website.

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