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Lockerbie Timeline

  • Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie on its journey from London to New York on 21 December 1988.
  • All 259 passengers and crew as well as 11 residents on the ground in Lockerbie were killed.
  • A joint investigation between the Scottish police and US authorities took place which led to the UK and the US accusing Mr Al-Megrahi and Mr Fhima of involvement in 1991.
  • In 1999, Libya finally agreed to hand-over both suspects to the Scottish Courts. A specially convened Scottish Court was set up at 'Camp Zeist' in the Netherlands, where the trial was held. The trial commenced in May 2000.
  • Mr Al-Megrahi was convicted of murder, and Mr Fhimah was acquitted in January 2001. Mr Al-Megrahi immediately appealed his conviction, but this was rejected in 2002.
  • Mr Al-Megrahi was sentenced to 'life-imprisonment', with a 'punishment part' of 27 years. This requires that Mr Al-Megrahi must serve at least 27 years before he would be eligible for early release.
  • At the request of Mr Al-Megrahi, the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) reviewed his case - starting in 2003. In 2007 the SCCRC referred his case back to the High Court on the basis that there 'may have been a miscarriage of justice' and it was 'in the interests of justice'. This appeal commenced in proper this year, however there have been numerous procedural hearings - some of which considered how many grounds of appeal should be heard: the SCCRC referred on six grounds but the appellant successfully argued that all grounds of appeal should be heard, which amounts to over 48 grounds. Grounds 1 and 2 (Unreasonable Verdict and Insufficient Evidence) were heard in April and May of this year - no Opinion of the Court has yet been given. The next grounds were not scheduled to be heard until November 2009.
  • Friday 14 August, 2009: Mr Al-Megrahi's legal team announced that they had lodged a minute with the court seeking the leave (permission) of the court to abandon both his appeal against conviction and his appeal against sentence.
  • Tuesday 18 August, 2009: Court gives leave to Mr Al-Megrahi to abandon his appeal.
  • Thursday 20 August, 2009: Justice Secretary announces his decision to reject the Libyan Government's application for prisoner transfer, and to release Mr Al-Megrahi on licence on compassionate grounds.
  • Friday 21 August, 2009: The Crown dropped its appeal against sentence outstanding.
  • Sunday, May 20, 2012: The death of Mr Al-Megrahi is reported in Tripoli.