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October 26, 2009

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UK police pursue leads over Lockerbie

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 told 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 United States government and many relatives of the 189 Americans killed.

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".


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