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Trial news update

Only strictly trial news - for other news about the Lockerbie investigation, new rumors, new reports, new interviews and similar news items, go to the Pan Am 103/Lockerbie Crash Latest News Page .

Lockerbie Bombing Trial continues


Appeal hearing updates

For a full update on all the appeal hearings in 2002, please go directly to the APPEAL NEWS PAGE !

WEEK 1 (23.01-25.01, 2002) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 1st appeal week in court. Updated 01/02/01


15/10/2001
NB! Prelimenary appeal hearing today (15/10/01). Go to SPECIAL PAGE for current update on pre-trial hearing right now with pictures, and in-deep coverage - updated throughout the day.

Lawyers representing Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Libyan intelligence agent sentenced to life for blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland, are launching legal proceedings today aimed at overturning the conviction handed down earlier this year.
At a preliminary hearing in the Netherlands, where his first trial was held before three Scottish judges, the lawyers will discuss preparations for a full appeal and a panel of judges will set a date for the proceedings which are expected to begin early next year. Megrahi's legal team includes not only his Libyan lawyer but also a Harvard professor, Alan Dershowitz, who defended OJ Simpson, the British barrister Michael Mansfield QC, and Frank Rubino, who represented General Manuel Noriega of Panama when he was convicted in the US of money laundering and drug trafficking.
Click here for more news of this week´s appeal hearing


SPECIAL FEATURE: The Verdict - a NEW page, updated around the hour, with latest news, interviews, opinions, reports and pictures from judgment day at Camp Zeist !

WEEK 40 (30.01-31.01, 2001) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 40th and week in court. Updated 01/02/01


NO WEEK 39 - court adjourned


WEEK 38 (15.01-19.01, 2001) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 38th week in court. Updated 13/01/01


WEEK 37 (08.01-12.01, 2001) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 37th week in court. Updated 18/01/01


NO WEEK 33 - NO WEEK 34 - NO WEEK 35 - NO WEEK 36 - court adjourned


WEEK 32 (05.12-08.12.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 31st week in court. Updated 12/12/00


WEEK 31 (28.11-01.12.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 31st week in court. Updated 01/12/00


WEEK 30 (20.11-25.11.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 30th week in court. Updated 27/11/00


WEEK 29 (14.11-17.11.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 29th week in court. Updated 19/11/00


WEEK 28 (07.11-10.11.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 28th week in court. Updated 12/11/00


WEEK 27 (31.10-31.10.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 27th week in court. Updated 31/10/00


WEEK 26 (23.10-24.10.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 26th week in court. Updated 24/10/00


WEEK 25 (17.10-20.10.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 25th week in court. Updated 17/10/00


WEEK 24 (09.10-13.10.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 24th week in court. Updated 13/10/00


WEEK 23 (03.10-06.10.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 23rd week in court. Updated 08/10/00


WEEK 22 (26.9-29.9.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 22nd week in court. Updated 30/09/00


WEEK 21 (21.9-22.9.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the 21st week in court. Updated 21/09/00


NO WEEK 19 - NO WEEK 20 - court adjourned


WEEK 18 (28.8-01.9.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the eighteenth week in court. Updated 03/09/00


WEEK 17 (22.-25.8.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the seventeenth week in court. Updated 24/08/00


NO WEEK 14 - NO WEEK 15 - NO WEEK 16 - court adjourned


WEEK 13 (25.-28.7.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the thirtienth week in court. Updated 27/07/00


WEEK 12 (17.-21.7.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the twelfth week in court. Updated 22/07/00


WEEK 11 (11.-14.7.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the eleventh week in court. Updated 15/07/00


NO WEEK 10 - court adjourned


WEEK 9 (27.-29.6.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the ninth week in court. Updated 30/06/00


WEEK 8 (19.-23.6.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the eight week in court. Updated 24/06/00


WEEK 7 (13.-16.6.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the seventh week in court. Updated 18/06/00


WEEK 6 (05.-09.6.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the sixth week in court. Updated 09/06/00


WEEK 5 (29.5.-02.6.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the fifth week in court. Updated 02/06/00


WEEK 4 (23.-25.5.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the fourth week in court. Updated 26/05/00


NO WEEK 3 - court adjourned


WEEK 1+2 (3.-12.5.) IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the first 2 weeks in court. .


04/05/00 Relatives of the victims attending the trial held hands as witnesses recounted the grisly scene of flaming houses and screaming. Defense lawyers did not question the five eye-witnesses who testified on the second morning of the trial to a grim court.

FIRST WEEK IN COURT FULL COVERAGE with news, interviews, opinions, pictures and analysis from the first week in court.


25/04/00

The Lockerbie trial could be postponed again after Scotland's senior legal officer asked for a delay because of the number of defence witnesses due to be called. Lord Advocate Colin Boyd is thought likely to request a postponement of several weeks. It will be considered by the presiding judge, Lord Sutherland, onThursday.


20/04/00 The BBC has lost its appeal to televise the trial of the two Libyans accused of causing the Lockerbie bombing. The corporation learned on Thursday that its court action to broadcast the trial on television and the internet had been rejected by the High Court in Edinburgh. The BBC is now seeking leave to appeal to the Privy Council and will know by Tuesday, eight days befor the trial begins, whether leave to appeal will be granted.

Read the full opinion of the court HERE 20/04/00


24/03/00 The BBC has appealed the court´s decision from March 7. Thus pre-trial hearings will continue and are set in Edinburgh on March 30.

07/03/00 The BBC has lost its application to broadcast the Lockerbie trial on television and the internet in today´s prelimenary hearing in Edinburgh. The Scottish High Court judge has turned down the request by the corporation and an international group of broadcasters. The request for broadcasting was supported by eight other broadcasters: Scottish Television, ITN, Sky, the major television news agencies and the American networks.

Read the full opinion of the court HERE
...or get it from the website of the Scottish High Court HERE

In his judgement, Lord McFadyen said there was a clear distinction between transmitting pictures to remote sites to allow relatives to watch proceedings and broadcasting to the general public. "I do not regard the fact that there is no jury in the trial in the Netherlands as sufficient ground for departing from the prohibition. The Crown had made a "cogent" argument that broadcasting could have an impact on witnesses, and could post a real risk of prejudice to the administration of justice, he concluded. BBc was given 14 days to consider appeal.

During the course of the hearing it was revealed the technical facilities are being paid for by the Office for the Victims of Crime, an arm of the US Justice Department. It also emerged that the US Government is funding half the cost of the trial, estimated at £100m. Defence lawyers said this was contrary to the treaty which brought the two Libyans to the Netherlands for trial.


02/02/00
The two Libyan defendants pleaded innocent today at a pretrial hearing in the Scottish High Court. Todays pretrial session was held in Edinburgh because the defendants did not express a desire to be present.

"In the absence of my client, I formally enter a plea of not guilty to the indictments," said defense attorney Bill Taylor, representing defendant Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi. Attorney Richard Keen entered an innocent plea on behalf of co-defendant Lamen Khalifa Fhimah. The pleas, which had been expected at a later stage, were a surprise ending at a one-hour hearing held to resolve a disagreement between prosecutors and defense lawyers on measures to conceal the identities of sensitive witnesses. The two sides agreed that the measures would be decided on a case-by-case basis. Both sides also said they were ready to begin the trial on May 3.


Pre-trial hearing fixes petition/indictment

08/12/99
Judge Sutherland ruled today that the petition for the upcoming Lockerbie trial will remain as it is. Furthermore he postponed the beginning of the trial to May 3rd, 2000.
Read HERE for a full report on the pre-trial hearing


07/12/99
NB! Pre-trial hearing today (7/12/99). Go to SPECIAL PAGE for current update on pre-trial hearing right now with pictures, and in-deep coverage - updated 24 hours next days!
The two accused, Megrahi and Fhima, have lodged papers in the High Court in Edinburgh claiming that the Scottish High Court cannot hear charge 1, which is a charge of conspiracy to murder. They claim the court has no jurisdiction because the conspiracy is alleged by the Crown to have taken place in various countries across the world, but not in Scotland. They go on to claim as an alternative that it is oppresive for them to face both a charge of conspiracy to murder and a charge of murder on the same indictment when the only justification for the two charges standing together is that the court has jurisdiction over the second charge. The proceedings will be held on Dec 7 and 8 at the special Scottish court set up at Camp Zeist.The legal dispute is highly technical and will be heard in what is called a "preliminary diet". The defense lawyers say that the charges link the alleged conspiracy with the murder is "unfair, oppressive and incompetent".
The accused's petition for the upcoming pre-trial hearing,
Above document made available by Glasgow University Law Faculty .


18/11/99
The three Scottish High Court judges who will hear the Lockerbie bombing trial in the Netherlands were named yesterday. The appointment of Lords Sutherland, Coulsfield and MacLean, with Lord Abernethy as a substitute, was seen as an indication that arrangements for the trial, scheduled to begin on 2 February, were continuing in spite of a preliminary hearing in the case next week.
Go to the prosecution and judges - page to read more about the 4 judges.


29/10/99
The indictment has now been served upon the two Libyan's accused of the bombing of the airliner. The charges remain whooly similar to those in the Petition but instances of the narrative have changed. Scotlands High Court of Justiciary ordered that the indictment be served by 30th October. The Scottish Crown Office said the prosecution had presented a list with almost 1000 witnesses for the upcoming trial which will start in early February 2000.
Go to http://www.law.gla.ac.uk/lockerbie/headline.htm to read the indictment and the petition.


July 6, 1999
Two prison officers are facing disciplinary action after being caught with a camera while guarding the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing.  The Scottish Prison Service said inquiries were being made into a breach of the code of conduct at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands. It is understood they did not take any pictures at the former base near Utrecht. They were due to finish their tour of duty at the site, when they were found with the camera. 

A spokeswoman said: "I can confirm that an incident occurred involving two officers who were due to finish their tour of duty at the prison. They were not sent home as  they were due to leave anyway.  "The two could face possible disciplinary action under the code of conduct but that will be up to the officer making  inquiries. 

The incident was the third security breach at the camp since it became Scottish territory when the suspects arrived in April.  On one occasion prison officers were caught taking  photographs of themselves at the base and on another,
 three prison officers were sent home after they were caught wandering around the compound without permission. 


07/06/1999
The Scottish court at Camp Zeist Airbase Monday granted a request by defense lawyers to delay the trial of two accused Libyans. ``The trial is scheduled to start on or before February 4, 2000,'' a court statement said. Without the extension, and under the rules of Scottish criminal law, the trial would have had to begin by 1 August this year. But because of the complexity of the case, the defence team asked for the 110-day rule to be extended. 

The defense had said it needed more time to prepare properly for the trial, and the court did not rule out a further postponement. ``It is nevertheless open to the defense to seek further time for the preparation of the case should that be necessary,'' the court said. The defense request was submitted at a private 30-minute hearing at Camp Zeist. Lord Sutherland, a member of the Scottish High Court, presided. 

A statement from the Crown Office said it remained open to the defence to seek further time for the preparation of its case, should that be necessary. 

Families of British victims responded calmly to the delay, noting that the prosecution had had more than a decade to assemble its legal arguments. ``I think it is a hugely complex case. It is right and proper to get the appropriate amount of time. The case must be balanced,'' said Peter Watson, secretary of the Lockerbie Air Disaster Group. ``Our first priority is that this be a fair trial,'' said Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died in the crash. 


25/05/1999 
A Scottish source has revealed that here has been a hearing (involving both the Lord Advocate and the defence) behind closed doors in the High Court in Edinburgh this morning over whether various Lockerbie trial-editors and journalists should be summoned for contempt of court. No further details are given.

At the same hearing moves were launched to put in a formal request to the Libyan government for help in providing evidence for the trial of the two suspects. That means British prosecutors are seeking to enlist the help of Libya in prosecuting the two men accused of the Lockerbie bombing. The application by the Crown is believed to have been unopposed but none of the lawyers involved were willing to comment following Tuesday's hour-long hearing. 

According to the report from BBC, the procedure is believed to have been launched under 1990 legislation, the Criminal Justice (International Cooperation) Act, relating to the collection of evidence overseas, and regularly used by Scottish courts which need evidence from outside Scotland. The Edinburgh procedural hearing was conducted by Lord Sutherland, who has been tipped to head the three judges who will preside over the trial. 

The Crown was represented at the hearing by Scotland's most senior law officer, the Lord Advocate, Lord Hardie. The Crown Office said to BBC: "We can confirm that the Lord Advocate attended a hearing at the High Court sitting in chambers. "We can confirm the hearing was related to the trial of the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing. "The matter related to the investigation and evidence in this case. We do not comment on investigations and cannot comment on evidence in any case." 


15/05/99 Maltese magistrate hearings on Lockerbie evidence
According to a journalist working for independent Maltese news agency "Super One News Agency" and Maltese newspaper KullHadd, a hearing tok place on Malta recently, discussing Maltese evidence and testimony in the upcoming Lockerbie trial. This is his report: 

(begin report) Last week in the Maltese Courts in Hall 13 presided by Magistrate Tonio Micallef Trigona there was a sitting behind closed door were rogatory letters regarding the Lockerbie case were heard. Dr. Donatella Frendo Azzopardi from the Office of the Attorney General of Malta and inspector Josef Petroni from the Intelligence Branch of the Malta police were present from the Maltese part while Scottish investigators, at least one with the surname Bell (?), were following the proceedings. 

The court heard witnesses from Maltacom regarding the telephone numbers of at least three places: Holiday Inn Hotel of Sliema and home and office of one of the accused (Fhimah). The home or flat of Fhimah was in St. John's Flats, Spring Street, Mosta while the office of Med Tours Limited was in Eucharistic Road, Mosta. 

Another witness was Dr. David Fabri form the Malta Financial and Services Centre. He was called at the courts to give information regarding a company that was registered in Malta. He presented the Memorandum and articles of the company. From information I got it seems that the company was registered nine months after the Lockerbie tragedy and Fhimah had 60% of the shares while some one with the name of Vincent Vassallo had the remaining shares. The office of this comapny was in Eucharistic Congress Road in Mosta. Now the offices are vacant. In the information published in November 1991 by the United States Information Department regarding the two Libyan suspects it was said that Fhimah organised a travel agency as a front. They said that this comapny was established between September and 20 th December 1988. The said company was registered in Malta nine months after the Lockerbie bombing. 

Unconfirmed news also claimed, that Maltese citizens and shop owners Paul and Anthony Gauci were called to Camp Zeist to participate in an identification parade. The Gauci's were said to have taken part in an identification parade (8 people were present). The Gauci brothers have done some 19 statement regarding the case to investigators of the Lockerbie crash. My source told me that in Camp Zeist Tony Gauci had not recognised Libyan suspect Megrahi 100% as the customer who allegedly purchased clothes in the famous suitcase, said to consist the bomb that blew away Pan Am 103, but had said that he resembled him. (end of report) 


May 11th, 1999 * Lockerbie guards sent home in disgrace
3 prison officers detailed to guard the Lockerbie suspects awaiting trial in the Netherlands have been sent home in disgrace. Yesterday the Scottish Prison Service denied that the prison officers had been sent home following an incident involving alcohol or that they were in the company of a woman. 

The SPS says the officers, one a supervisor from Perth Prison and the others from Glenochil and Longriggend prisons, were caught in a prohibited section of the Kamp van Zeist compound. The incident took place on Thursday evening and the three were flown back to Scotland on Friday. They face disciplinary action once an investigation by the SPS has been completed. An SPS spokesman said: "We can confirm three staff were sent home from Zeist last week after they were found in a part of the compound they should not have been in. 

"They had gone out for a breath of fresh air when they should have been on duty and were stopped by police at about 10 p.m. There is no question of misbehaviour and no drink, drugs or women were involved." "They were just curious and not up to anything malicious, Scottish prison spokesman Paul Burgess said from Edinburgh. ``No women involved...But it does look suspicious, you know, people found wandering around at night,'' he added. 

The spokesman said staff who had been selected for the posting were expected to be on their best behaviour and any action against the trio would act as a reminder of the high standards required. ``When staff are on duty they are told to remain within certain areas. All of our staff who have been going to the Netherlands have been well briefed as to what they can and cannot do,'' he said. 

One serving prison officer said: "The eyes of the world are on how Scotland handles this situation and the last thing the authorities wanted was something like this. Even if these officers were simply dodging off the job, it is very embarrassing for the prison service." 


April 26, 1999 Shots at Camp Zeist
A police officer at the base is understood to have been sent home after accidentally firing his loaded gun. Armed Scottish police officers are in charge of security at the base while Scottish prison officers guard the accused. The officer, thought to be from the Tayside force, fired his weapon while unloading it in the camp’s armoury. 

A spokeswoman from Dumfries and Galloway Police, was quoted yesterday saying: "A Scottish police officer accidentally discharged a live bullet. No member of the public was put at risk as this was a secure environment." At no time was any police officer in danger and nobody was injured."



April 14th, 1999 Prelimenary hearing
Abdel Basset al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima were committed fortrial in a brief closed-door ceremony at Camp Zeist. The suspects appearedseparately before Scottish regional judge Sherrif Principal Graham Cox. 

"The whole thing lasted minutes," a Scottish Office spokesman at CampZeist told Reuters. "They made no plea or declaration and were committedfor trial,"  he said, adding this was a normal procedure.  Thesuspects spoke only once, to confirm their identities, in a makeshift roomadorned with a Scottish court crest. 


April 6,1999 Formal charges
Two Libyan suspects sat in silence Tuesday during their arraignmentas Scottish police read aloud the names of all 270 victims. They were fingerprintedand photographed and gave DNA samples before they were separately arraignedin Arabic and English. 

Afterboth suspects were read the list of victims, the men appeared briefly beforeScottish regional judge Sheriff Principal Graham Cox. The men were askedto confirm their identities and that they had access to defense lawyers.They did not enter pleas.  "The men are charged with conspiracy, murderand contravention of the Aviation Security Act of 1982," a court officialtold reporters after the five-minute proceeding. 

Prisoncells have been prepared at the airbase and the supects will be movinginto the new "quarters" today. The two will have access to an exerciseroom and a prayer room complete with a compass to help them face east,toward Mecca in Saudi Arabia, a holy city Muslims turn to when they prayeach day. The Scots even hung a sign renaming the air base ``Her Majesty'sPrison, Zeist.'' 

April 6, 1999

Libya has handed over two suspects in the 1988 Pan Am 103 bombing overLockerbie, Scotland to representatives of the United Nations. For morespecific coverage of the handover, pictures, interviews, opinions, featuresand updated news, please go to the special news page. Click link below. 
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5260/handover.html

Trial schedule-page
For update on what is currently happening and what will happen nex tat Camp Zeist Airbase. Updated every day. 


Special items

If you have any ideas or comments to THIS website, you are more thanwelcome to email me. My email address is aoude@hotmail.com

The old,temporary Lockerbie Trial page
If you can't wait to read about the trial, take a look at the old,provisionary trial website from the Pan Am 103/Lockerbie Crash page. It contains some background information, including the official indictmentof the two Libyan suspects. 


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