Lockerbie appeal dropped

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The Independent Online

The man jailed for carrying out the Lockerbie bombing will not continue with a second appeal against his conviction, his lawyers said yesterday.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi is serving a life term for his involvement in the attack on Pan Am Flight 103 from London to new York, which killed 270 people in 1988, but has always insisted he is innocent. Earlier this week it emerged that the Libyan, who is dying of prostate cancer, might be released ion compassionate grounds. A prisoner exchange treaty signed between Britain and Libya earlier this year said the Government would allow him to return to Tripoli only if he abandoned his appeal.

Ina statement, lawyers for Megrahi, 57, said he had applied to the High Court in Edinburgh on Wednesday to abandon that appeal after his health took a "significant turn for the worse".

Sources close to the Megrahi family say he is desperate to return to Tripoli to spend the remainder of his days with family. The decision to abandon his appeal may stem from a hope that doing so could quicken his release.