British police pursuing leads in Lockerbie case

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Police are following several lines of inquiry into the Lockerbie bombing focusing on possible accomplices of convicted former Libyan agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, Scottish authorities said yesterday.
The review was part of a regular series carried out into the bombing of PanAm flight 103 over the Scottish town in December 1988, Scotland’s chief prosecutor said in an e-mail sent to relatives of British victims.
The attack killed 270 people aboard the plane and on the ground.
Megrahi, the only man convicted in the case, was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds in August because he is terminally ill with prostate cancer.
The decision to let him return home to Libya infuriated the US government and many relatives of the 189 Americans killed, straining ties with Britain.
The authorities were not re-opening the case into Megrahi who dropped his appeal against his conviction but maintains his innocence but would focus on who might have worked with him, the Scottish Crown Office, the country’s prosecuting authority, said in a statement.
“Now that the appeal proceedings are at an end a further review of the case is under way and several potential lines of inquiry … are being considered,” it said.
The Crown Office said the trial court accepted its position that Megrahi acted in “furtherance of the Libyan intelligence services and did not act alone”.
Call for public inquiry
Eleven relatives of the victims went to Downing Street last week to hand in a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown calling for a public inquiry into the bombing.
Pam Dix, a member of UK Families Flight 103, whose brother Peter died in the explosion, said she was optimistic that all the details would come to light.
“It would be very interesting whether further inquiries will relate to Libya or elsewhere, and if Tripoli cooperates,” she told Reuters.
The British government has resisted demands for an independent inquiry, saying little would be gained and Megrahi’s conviction still stood despite his release.
It denies pressing the devolved Scottish government to free Megrahi to help improve business ties with Libya, which has Africa’s largest oil reserves.



Pic: Fomer Liyban agent Abdel Basset al-Megrahi