Abu Agila Masud, a man accused of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, 34 years ago, will not face the death penalty.
What is the Complete News?
According to US and Scottish officials, Abu Agila Masud was in US custody on Sunday for his involvement in the Pan Am Flight 103 bomb attack, which left 270 people dead.
It was said that Mr Masud was the first person charged on US soil for a bomb attack. He was presented in the US court on Monday, wearing a teal prison jumpsuit with a medical mask covering his white beard.
The US Magistrate Judge Robin Meriweather was elected for the formal reading of charges of Mr Masud during his trial. With the judge’s permission, a translator was also present to interpret the court proceedings into Arabic for Mr Masud.
He (Mr Masud) is accused of multiple charges, including possible life imprisonment, the death penalty or a fine up to $250,000. But the prosecutors said he would not look for the death penalty as they believed the punishment was not available when the crime happened.
When the judge started reading out all the charges, Mr Masud interrupted in Arabic, saying he couldn’t talk until he spoke to his attorney. During the hearing, some victims’ families were also present in the court.
They were nervous, sitting quietly in the court as the hearing got underway. December 2020 was the time the US justice department first announced criminal charges against Abu Agila Masud.
They claimed that he played several roles in Libyan intelligence, including as an explosive expert between 1973 and 2011.
However, during an interview with Libyan officials in 2012, Mr Masud admitted to the charges that he planted the bomb and set the timer to explode while the aircraft flew over Lockerbie.
What was Pan Am Flight 103 Bomb Attack Incident
On 21 December 1988, when the flight was flying over the Scottish town Lockerbie, it was exploded by a bomb planted by Abu Agila Masud, killing 243 passengers, six crew members and 11 local residents, including a family of four.
People who died were from 21 different countries, including 43 British and 190 Americans. The incident was declared the deadliest terrorist attack that had ever taken place on British soil.
A Widow of a Passenger, Died in the Bombing reacts to the Incident
Victoria Cummock, the widow of one of the passengers, John, who died on the flight, reacted to the incident, calling the US prosecution a significant milestone for the victim’s families. She said the US authorities made the first tangible step by apprehending Mr Masud.
How can they hold anyone accountable for the bombing? Victoria described it as a decades-long miscarriage of justice. You can listen to the video above to know what more she has talked about this incident.
The most senior Scottish Law officer, Dorothy Bain, stated that she would meet the US prosecutors and victims’ families. She said that the US prosecution of Mr Masud is a legal breakthrough.
According to Bain, no time limits can be placed on pursuing justice after the recent developments.
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