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September 19, 2009

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Lockerbie bomber still claims innocence

Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset Al-Megrahi launched a Website yesterday with the aim of proving his innocence in the 1988 bombing of a US airliner over Scotland in which 270 people died.

The former Libyan agent released information "which he hopes will establish his innocence" on the Website,, his Scottish lawyer Tony Kelly said.

Megrahi was released from a Scottish jail on August 20 on compassionate grounds after medical advice said the 57-year-old prisoner would likely die within three months from spreading prostate cancer. He is now in hospital in Tripoli.

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill's decision to release him caused outrage in the US and political turmoil in Britain, including questions about oil links between Britain and Libya.

Scotland has its own legal system separate from the rest of Britain.

Megrahi was convicted of the bombing by a special Scottish court in the Netherlands in 2002, and an appeal against his 27-year sentence was rejected in 2003.

Megrahi said in the release issued by Kelly's law firm: "I have returned to Tripoli with my unjust conviction still in place.

"As a result of the abandonment of my appeal I have been deprived of the opportunity to clear my name."

"I will do everything in my power to persuade the public ... of my innocence."

The Website yesterday issued documents relating to the first leg of his appeal in which his defence counsel questioned the identification process and other evidence the prosecution had used to link Megrahi to the bombing in the original trial.


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