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Senators seek video trial access for Lockerbie families

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By Newsdesk
Senators seek video trial access for Lockerbie families

A NEW law is being proposed in America to allow remote video and phone access at the trial of the man alleged to be the Lockerbie bomb maker.

Politicians in the US have lodged a legislative proposal, entitled the Meaningful Access to Court Proceedings For Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 Act.

If passed, it would mean that victims’ families would be able to get access to the trial of Abu Agila Mohammed Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi, which is expected to take place in Washington DC in May next year.

Those eligible to follow it via telephone or video link would include individuals “who suffered direct or proximate harm as a result of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that occurred over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988, and was present at or near the scene of the bombing when it occurred, or immediately thereafter; or

(B) who is the spouse, legal guardian, parent, child, brother, sister, next of kin, or other relative of, or who is determined by the district court to be an individual who possesses a relationship of similar significance to an individual.”

A motion earlier last year to set up such a scheme was denied by a district court and the new legislation is seeking to overrule that.

America’s Department of Justice believe it’s “imperative” that US and international victims are afforded meaningful access to court proceedings in the case.

The Act was introduced by Senators John Cornyn and Kirsten Gillibrand.

He said: “For more than three decades, the families of the 270 individuals tragically killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 have waited for those responsible to be held accountable for this unspeakable act of terror.

“This legislation would ensure surviving family members can access the criminal court proceedings no matter where they live, and I urge my colleagues to pass it without delay.”

And she added: “The families of the 270 victims on board Pan Am Flight 103 – including 190 Americans and 35 Syracuse University students – deserve transparency and answers.

“They have the right to view the proceedings of this trial and I am introducing this legislation to make sure they can.”

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