British police re-examining Lockerbie bombing: report

LONDON (AFP) – A fresh investigation could be held into the Lockerbie bombing, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported, citing an email from state prosecutors to British victims of the attack.

Families have been told that a further review was underway, with several potential lines of inquiry being considered and efforts being made to obtain fresh evidence.

Tensions rose between Tripoli, London, Edinburgh and Washington when Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi was released from a Scottish jail on August 20 on compassionate grounds.

(AFP file) Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's son Seif al-Islam (R) holds hands with freed Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi in Tripoli in August.

The former Libyan agent is the only person convicted of the murder of 270 people in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988.

The Crown Office in Scotland, the prosecuting authority, has emailed relatives informing them of the new investigation situation following Megrahi's dropped appeal, release and return to Libya, The Sunday Telegraph said.

The broadsheet said Lindsey Miller, a senior procurator fiscal who was involved in preparing evidence for Megrahi's trial, wrote: "Are proactive efforts continuing, to try to obtain new information and evidence?

"In short, the answer to this is 'yes'.

"Throughout the investigation we have, at various times, taken stock of the evidence as a whole with a view to identifying further lines of inquiry that can be pursued.

"Now that the appeal proceedings are at an end a further review of the case is under way and several potential lines of inquiry, both through a 'desktop' (paper) exercise and consultation with forensic science colleagues are being considered.

"Please be assured that this is not simply paying lip service to the idea of an 'open case'."

Megrahi, 57, was convicted in January 2001 at an extraordinary Scottish court convened in the Netherlands.

The terminal prostate cancer sufferer's release, ordered by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, triggered fury from Washington and families of the 189 US nationals who died.

A Crown Office spokesman said: "There is no question of re-opening the case against Megrahi.

"The open case concerns only the involvement of others with Megrahi in the murder of 270 people and the crown will continue to pursue such lines of inquiry that become available."

The development comes as relatives' group UK Families Flight 103 delivered a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Downing Street office asking him to instigate a full independent inquiry into the Lockerbie bombing.

But a Downing Street spokesman said: "The Scottish courts have made a decision in the case -- and we still have a convicted individual.

"It is our belief that nothing can be gained from a public inquiry."

Source: AFP

Other news