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Prosecutors in Lockerbie investigation implicate acquitted suspect

Prosecutors investigating the Lockerbie bombing are examining evidence that may implicate acquitted Libyan Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah for allegedly working with Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi who was convicted for the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 [BBC News backgrounder] over the town of Lockerbie, Scotland. Documents obtained by Scotland on Sunday suggest the investigators are reevaluating the possibility [Scotland on Sunday report] that Fhimah was working with Megrahi in conspiring to put an explosive device in the plane's luggage compartment. Despite having already been acquitted, Fhimah may face new prosecution under double jeopardy legislation [official backgrounder] passed by Scotland last year. Private rehearings were requested last month for the purpose, according to the Scotland on Sunday report, of reviewing the actions of Megrahi, Fhimah and other Libyan intelligence officers.

Megrahi's guilty verdict [text] was handed down in January 2001. Megrahi died in Libya in May of this year after being released [JURIST reports] in 2009 due to terminal prostate cancer. His release sparked wide criticism from international and Scottish officials, but was defended by the Scottish government in 2011 [JURIST reports]. Responding to criticism of his decision to release Megrahi, Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill [official website] claimed he acted in good faith, denying that there was an arrangement [Telegraph report] for Megrahi to drop his appeal in return for his release. In 2010 US lawmakers called for an investigation [JURIST report] into the role that oil company British Petroleum (BP) [official website] may have played in Megrahi's release.

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