Megrahi Appeal - What Happens Next?

It was announced at a press conference in Glasgow on 5 June 2014 that an application is being lodged to overturn the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie. What happened next

  1. The case will be assigned to a case worker at the SCCRC and that worker will consider the case and provide a report to the Board (who sit once a month) The Board will consider whether to refer it back.
  2. The Board normally consider several cases at the same time but it is likely that in this instance the Board will convene specially to hear this application.
  3. The SCCRC review and investigation process is described as thorough, robust, impartial and independent.
  4. On receipt of an application the Chief Executive of the Commission allocates the application to a legal officer. They obtain the court papers.
  5. The legal officer obtains any other further information he or she considers to be necessary so that the Board of the Commission can take a decision about whether to accept the application for review.
  6. If the Board does not accept the application for review, the Chief Executive writes to the applicant and his or her representative to inform them of the Board's decision and the file is closed.
  7. If the Board accepts the application for review, they will write to all the relevant parties - e.g. The Crown, the Police and the Defence - to notify them that the application has been accepted for review and to request that they preserve for the duration of our review all documents and productions they hold relative to the case.
  8. They obtain then relevant papers from the Crown, the Police and the Defence.
  9. Under normal circumstances the Legal Officer will conduct a review of the papers and issues in the case and will arrange to interview the applicant.
  10. The Legal Officer prepares a case plan document setting out information relating to the evidence led at trial, the appeal, the grounds of review and his or her recommendations to take forward the review of the case.
  11. Within two months from the date of the acceptance of the application for review, the case plan is submitted to a Committee of two or three Board Members and the Chief Executive. The Committee consider the case plan and agree a course of action with the Legal Officer for the review of the case.
  12. The Legal Officer proceeds with the investigation and review, updating the Committee on the progress of the review every month or so and seeking guidance from the Committee and/or the Chief Executive where necessary.
  13. The review process should take no longer than nine months for conviction cases.
  14. After the review of the case is completed, the Committee take a view about whether or not the case should be referred to the High Court.
  15. The legal officer then prepares a draft statement of reasons for referral or non-referral for the Committee’s consideration. Once the Committee is content with the draft statement of reasons, the case is submitted to the Board of the Commission for a decision.
  16. If the Board recommends a referral then the application will go back to the Appeal Court.