Lockerbie Trial: The Suspects - The men who stand accused

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The Independent Online
THE LIBYANS Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah have lived with the allegation of being mass murderers since being formally accused of the Lockerbie bombing by both the US and Britain on 14 November 1991. Both are accused of conspiring to destroy, and destroying, a US civil aircraft, and related offences. Both men deny the charges.

Fhimah is described as a former airline station manager for the Libyan Arab Airlines, but the Scottish police allege that it is a cover for his real occupation as a Libyan intelligence officer.

Born on 4 April 1956, in Suk Giuma, Libya, he is short and stocky with black hair and a brown moustache. He speaks English and is said to have three Libyan passports, and to have used several aliases.

In November 1991, Fhimah told Radio Monte Carlo that he had worked for Libyan Arab Airlines in Malta. The suspects are alleged to have run a phoney business on the island as a cover for their intelligence activities - and planting the bomb on Pan Am 103.

Fhimah insists he is a peace-loving, married man with five children, and is "neither an intelligence man nor a politician".

Al-Megrahi is said to be a former chief of airline security for Libyan Arab Airlines. But the Scottish police will allege that this is a cover, and that Al-Megrahi is a Libyan intelligence officer.

Born in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, on 1 April 1952, al-Megrahi speaks English- which he learnt in the US where he studied in the 1970s. He is married, and is said to possess at least four Libyan passports and to have used up to nine aliases.

In an interview with an ABC News reporter in December 1991, al-Megrahi said: "You judge me falsely, I'm a quiet man. I never had any problem with anybody. My life is clean."