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Skepticism About Pan Am 103 Convictions

Skepticism About Pan Am 103 Convictions

MID-EAST REALITIES © - www.MiddleEast.Org


'Astounded'

Robert Black, the Scottish law professor who devised the format of the Netherlands-based trial, was quoted on Sunday as saying he was "absolutely astounded" that Al Megrahi had been found guilty.

Mr Black said he believed the prosecution had "a very, very weak circumstantial case" and he was reluctant
to believe that Scottish judges would "convict anyone, even a Libyan" on such evidence.


The view, published in British newspapers, echoes that of some of the families of UK victims of the Lockerbie
bombing, who are calling for a public inquiry to find "the truth of who was responsible and what the motive was".

Protests

Wednesday's verdict sparked angry protests in Libya on Saturday, as Washington and London demanded the Libyan Government accept responsibility for the atrocity and pay compensation to the victims' families.

The protesters condemned what they called a "CIA-dictated" verdict and demanded compensation for the
victims of the 1986 US air raids on Tripoli and Benghazi.

Al Megrahi's 15-year old son, Khaled, took part in a demonstration on Saturday, holding a placard reading: "My
father is innocent."

The opposing camps - Washington and London on the one hand and Libya and its supporters on the other - have become increasing polarised since the Lockerbie verdict was issued.

London and Washington are demanding that Libya accept responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing and pay compensation to the families of the victims before sanctions can be lifted.

On Behalf of the relatives of the Lockerbie victims, Washington wants Libya to pay $740m (£500m) in compensation, or about $3m (£2m) for each victim.

Libyan newspapers

A BBC correspondent in Tripoli, Frank Gardner, says Libya is on tenterhooks, waiting to learn
what the new evidence Colonel Gaddafi has promised to reveal could be.

The Libya press has continued to attack last week's verdict. The Libyan daily, Al Fatah, accuses the judges of yielding to political pressure from the United States. It says the judges were stricken with political Alzheimer's
Disease.

In another paper, the Green March, the editorial referred to what it called Britain's history of imperialism, aggression and human suffering.

The paper accused British newspapers of carrying out an organised campaign to harm Libya.

It blamed what it called disturbed writers without loyalty to Britain, who were influenced, it says, by Zionist circles.

But in a note of conciliation, the Libyan editorial added that Anglo-Libyan relations were recovering. It said it felt sincerely that the British government was keen to reinforce those relations.

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