By Liam Wilson.
The Libyan, appealing for his conviction, was said to be “very distressed” after judges refused to grant his bail.
Lord Hamilton, Scotland’s most senior judge claimed that al-Megrahi’s cancer was not advanced enough for him to deserve bail before his appeal had been heard.
A full hearing is likely to take place in the middle of next year in which Megrahi is appealing against his conviction of murder of 270 people when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie in 1988.
Lord Hamilton over-ruled agreements in aid of limiting public discussion about Megrahi’s health in revelation that his life could be prolonged by advanced medical treatment, contradicting the Libyan’s supporters and lawyers original suggestions that he had only months to live: the cancer had become so advanced it was now percieved as incurable.
However; Lord Hamilton agreed with prosecutors that Megrahi was not currently suffering and was comfortable in prison adding that if his situation worsened, and his illness deteriorated, then the court would review its decision to refuse interim liberation.
Megrahi’s lawyers issued a statement after the hearing, in which it said: “I am very distressed that the court has refused to grant me bail and denied me the chance to spend my remaining time with my family.
“I wish to reiterate that I had nothing whatsoever to do with the Lockerbie bombing and that the fight for justice will continue, regardless of I am alive to witness my name being cleared.”
Two leading Lockerbie campaigners, Dr Jim Swire, who’s daughter had been killed in the bombing, and Professor Robert Black, an authority on Scots Law and the Lockerbie case, expressed their disappointment in how Megrahi had not been granted bail.
Dr Swire said: “It seems tragic that Scottish justice has missed a golden opportunity to display mercy in a situation where it has been unable to complete the appeal process within a reasonable time frame.”