London: As the 21st anniversary of the
Lockerbie bombing was marked today, Britain has disclosed that
Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, convicted of downing the Pan Am
flight in 1988, held nearly two million pounds in a Swiss bank
The Crown Office last night confirmed that a
"substantial sum" -- around 1.8 million pounds -- had come to
light in 2000, with Swiss authorities also passing on the
evidence of al-Megrahi`s riches to prosecutors, The Times said
in a report today.
However, since legal proceedings had already begun,
the evidence at that time was inadmissible, it said.
A former official of the FBI team investigating the
bombing told The Times today that the revelation of
al-Megrahi`s bank account was hugely significant.
"It is unfortunate this could not have been raised at
trial because I do believe it would have mitigated against his
claim that he was not a Libyan agent -- who has that much
money to be allowed to sit in an account for that many years
other than a government?," he said.
Al-Megrahi, who has prostate cancer, was freed on
compassionate grounds in August by Kenny MacAskill, the
Scottish Justice Secretary.
The former Libyan intelligence officer and head of
security for Libyan Arab Airlines (LAA) had been convicted of
bombing the flight Pan Am 103 killing all 270 people on board
including 16 crew members.