IBA and Arab lawyers to debate Lockerbie bombing trial location

ARAB and Scottish lawyers representing the two alleged Lockerbie bombers will meet senior international lawyers at a seminar on the deadlock over the Lockerbie trial in London in September.

The seminar, 'Lockerbie: Where Now? A study of Jurisdiction and Fair Trials', is hosted jointly by the International Bar Association and the Arab Lawyers Union.

Ross Harper, IBA president, explained: “This seminar is to examine the issues behind the trial of the alleged bombers. Andrew Hardy, dean of the Faculty of Advocates – the equivalent of the chair of the Bar Council – has said the trial should be in Scotland. The suspects say it should be in an international jurisdiction.”

The IBA backs the formation of an international criminal court for such cases, although Harper stressed: “We are not saying the international court should be used for Lockerbie.”

The two accused, Abriel Busset Ali Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, are refusing to submit to trial in Scotland.

Both Ibrahim Al Gouel, their Libyan lawyer, and their Scottish lawyer, Alastair Duff, will speak at the seminar. Humphrey Dawson, an English lawyer and expert in aviation law and terrorism, will also contribute. The seminar will be chaired by Munich lawyer Peter Michael Muller, chair of the IBA's Human Rights Institute Liaison Committee, and Farouk Abu Eissa, secretary general of the Arab Lawyers Union.