Lockerbie bombing: Statement from the Lord Advocate

The Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC has issued a statement following developments in the investigations into the bombing of flight Pan Am 103 and the murder of 270 people on December 21, 1988.  

Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi (“Mas’ud” or “Masoud”), a former Libyan intelligence officer, is in the custody of the United States Department of Justice and faces charges on two criminal matters, including destruction of an aircraft resulting in death.  

Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC said: 

“The steps taken by the US justice authorities are significant and progress towards a legal breakthrough is welcomed by Scottish prosecutors and police. 

“The tragic events of December 1988 have bound Scotland and the US together in deep loss and steadfast determination that all those who committed this atrocity should be brought before a court.  

“The destruction of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie was a crime on a scale never seen before in Scotland. More than 400 parents lost a son or a daughter, 46 parents lost their only child, more than 140 people lost a parent and seven children lost both parents. 

“After Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 my predecessor as Lord Advocate, Lord Boyd of Duncansby, confirmed to the Scottish Parliament that the investigation into the involvement of others in this terrible crime would continue. 

“For more than 20 years the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service has maintained a case team working on this investigation, bringing together a range of prosecutorial expertise in counter-terrorism, major crime investigations, forensic analysis, international co-operation and mutual legal assistance. 

“The recent developments demonstrate that there can be no time limits placed on the pursuit of justice.  Scottish prosecutors and officers of Police Scotland have remained committed to the case and for decades have worked closely with US Department of Justice attorneys and FBI case agents on the investigation.  

 “I am going to Washington DC next week where I will have meetings with US prosecutors and attend commemorative events to mark the anniversary of the tragedy. Ongoing engagement here and in the US between law enforcement authorities, and with families who lost loved ones, is an important feature of this case. 

“Scottish prosecutors and police, working with UK Government and US colleagues, will continue to pursue this investigation, with the sole aim of bringing those who acted along with Al Megrahi to justice.” 

As is customary in ongoing investigations and cases, COPFS will not be commenting in detail on further progress and the next steps which may be taken here or abroad. 

“The recent developments demonstrate that there can be no time limits placed on the pursuit of justice." 

The Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain KC