Lockerbie Split Decision

updated 04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/29/1997 12:00AM

A Scottish court sitting in the neutral territory of the Netherlands convicted Libyan intelligence officer Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, 48, of murder on Wednesday morning in the Dec. 21, 1988, bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people (259 in the air and 11 on the ground). A second Libyan, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, 44, was acquitted. Both decisions were unanimous. Ali al-Megrahi, who has 14 days to appeal the decision, will serve his mandatory life sentence in Glasgow's Barlinnie jail. Fhimah will be released. Wednesday's decision in the $90 million trial comes after innumerable delays and adjournments, and diplomatic and bureaucratic wrangles that have occurred since the tragedy took place.

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