Scottish Court in the Netherlands

From Academic Kids

The Scottish Court in the Netherlands was the name given to the special court set up under Scots law in a disused United States Air Force base called Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, for the trial of two Libyans charged with 270 counts of murder in connection with the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988. The court was established in a neutral country as part of a deal between Colonel Muammar Gadaffi of Libya and the British government, before Gadaffi would allow the extradition of the two accused.

Camp Zeist was declared sovereign territory of the United Kingdom governed by Scots law under a treaty signed by the British and Dutch governments. The base was guarded during the trial by Scottish police officers, and the two accused were attended to by Scottish prison wardens. The site contained a courtroom, a prison for the accused, and offices for the press and families of the victims.

The court convicted Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi of murder on January 31, 2000. The second accused, Lamin Khalifah Fhimah, was acquitted. Megrahi's appeal was also held at the court, and was rejected on March 14, 2002. The site was then decommisioned and returned to the Dutch government. Megrahi is serving his sentence in Greenock Prison near Glasgow, where he continues to protest his innocence.

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