Man convicted of Lockerbie bombing drops second appeal

By Liz Stephens

The Libyan man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing has applied to abandon his second appeal to the Scottish courts.

It was reported yesterday that Scottish authorities were preparing to free Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds.

However, in order to do so, the Scottish courts would have to drop his current appeal against his sentence.

Al-Megrahi was sentenced to a minimum term of 25 years in 2001 for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 which exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988.

He is said to have weeks to live after being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.

The Libyan was half-way through his second appeal against his 2001 conviction and has always maintained his innocence.

Scottish government officials have so far insisted that no decision has been made to release Mr Megrahi, but the dropping of the appeal would seem to be yet another indicator that his release is imminent.