commenced at 11.04 a.m.
CLERK: Call the diet, Her Majesty's
against Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah. Take your
seat, gentlemen, please. My Lords, have you reached a verdict in respect of each
accused on the second alternative charge as now amended?
SUTHERLAND: We have.
CLERK: Would you give me, please, your verdict in respect of the first named
accused, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi.
SUTHERLAND: Guilty. There are certain deletions to the indictment. In subhead
(e), in line 4, delete from the words "and you" to the end of that
subhead. In subhead (g), in the fourth line, delete the words "said
suitcase, or"; and in the following line, the word "similar."
CLERK: That is all the deletions, My Lord?
SUTHERLAND: These are all the deletions.
CLERK: Is that verdict unanimous, or by a majority?
CLERK: Would you give me, please, your verdict in respect of the second named
accused, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah.
SUTHERLAND: Not guilty.
CLERK: Is that, My Lords, unanimous, or by a majority?
CLERK: I will now record the verdict, My Lords. My Lords, is the verdict truly
recorded as follows: The court unanimously find the accused Abdelbaset Ali
Mohmed Al Megrahi guilty on the second alternative charge, but that under
deletion of the words "and you Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and Al Amin
Khalifa Fhimah did there and then cause a suitcase to be introduced to
Malta" in lines 4 to 6 of subhead (e) of the said charge, and under
deletion of the words "said suitcase, or," in line 4 of subhead (g),
and deletion of the word "similar" in line 5 of subhead (g),
unanimously find the accused Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah not guilty.
that a true record, My Lord?
SUTHERLAND: That is correct.
CLERK: Thank you.
SUTHERLAND: Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, in view of the verdict of the court, you are
now discharged and are free to go.
KEEN: My Lords, in light of the verdict of the court, I would move on behalf of
myself and my junior counsel for leave to withdraw.
SUTHERLAND: Certainly, Mr. Keen.
KEEN: I'm obliged, My Lords.
SUTHERLAND: Lord Advocate.
LORD ADVOCATE: My Lords, I move for sentence. Megrahi is 49 years of age, his
date of birth being the 1st of April 1952. So far as is known to the Crown, he
is married and has children. A petition warrant was granted for his arrest on
the 13th of November 1991. He was delivered to the Netherlands on the 5th of
April 1999, when he was arrested on a provisional extradition warrant issued by
the Dutch authorities, and having waived his rights to contest extradition, he
was arrested by Scottish police officers the same day. He was committed for
further examination in custody on the 6th of April 1999. He was fully committed
on the 14th of April 1999 and has been in custody since that date. My Lords, in
accordance with normal practice, as he is a non-British citizen, he has been
served with a notice under Section 6(2) of the Immigration Act 1971, and it is
open to Your Lordships to recommend in terms of Section 3(6) of that Act that he
be deported if and when he is released from custody in the future. My Lords, the
names of those who died were read to the court on the 5th of May 2000. In any
ordinary case, Your Lordships would have heard something of the circumstances of
the deceased and the family left behind. In this case it is not possible to do
that, and I don't intend to try. I need hardly say
SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Lord Advocate. Mr. Taylor, I should say at the outset
that as you will appreciate, having regards to the nature of this offence, the
court may have to consider a recommendation under Section 205(4) of the 1995
Act. We should say that the written reasons for the verdict will be available
shortly, by which I mean within the next half hour or so. We do not know if you
would wish to see these reasons before addressing the matter of a possible
recommendation, but if you should so wish, obviously we shall be only too glad
to give you time to do so.
TAYLOR: I am grateful to Your Lordship for that indication. I have given, as
Your Lordship would anticipate, some consideration to the matter, and I am
content that Your Lordships should proceed.
SUTHERLAND: Very well. Thank you, Mr. Taylor.
TAYLOR: There are two matters that I should draw to Your Lordships' attention.
The first is in relation to my client. He maintains his innocence, and therefore
there is nothing I can say by way of mitigation.
second is in relation to the point at which Your Lordships will require to
determine the sentence has to run from, and the submission I make to the court
is that it should be from the 5th of April 1999.
Lordships are entitled to make recommendations on how long -- given the
mandatory nature of the life sentence is concerned -- how long the individual
should remain in prison prior to release being considered, and I have taken the
view that that's a matter within Your Lordships' discretion, having heard all of
the evidence in the case, and I have no submissions to make on it
SUTHERLAND: Thank you, Mr. Taylor. We shall take time to consider the matter of
a recommendation. The court will adjourn until 2.00, when sentence will be
recessed at 11.18 a.m.
resumed at 2.00 p.m.
SUTHERLAND: Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the mandatory sentence for the
recessed at 2.04 p.m.