Timeline of the Lockerbie bombing
The trial and conviction of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was the outcome of lengthy legal, political and diplomatic wranglings and even after his death remains swathed in controversy.
December 21: Pan Am Flight 103 explodes in the skies over Lockerbie on its way from London to New York. All 259 people on board and 11 people in the town are killed.
Libyans Abdelbaset al-Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah are indicted by the US and Britain on 270 counts of murder, conspiracy to murder and violating Britain's 1982 Aviation Security Act. Megrahi is placed under house arrest.
April: UN Security Council imposes sanctions on air travel and arms sales after Libya refuses to hand the suspects over for trial in Scotland.
April: Libya says it will accept a trial of the two suspects under Scots law on neutral territory. Professor Robert Black, of Edinburgh University, draws up a legal framework to hold the trial in the Netherlands. A specially convened Scottish court is set up at Camp Zeist, a former US military airbase.
March: Nelson Mandela flies to Tripoli with special permission from the UN to speak to Colonel Gaddafi about the Lockerbie case. He says the suspects will be handed over within weeks.
April 5: Megrahi and Fhimah are flown to the Netherlands and formally charged with murder. UN sanctions against Libya are suspended.
May: The trial begins before Lords Sutherland, Coulsfield and MacLean. Lord Abernethy sits through the trial as a standby judge in case one of the trio has to drop out.
January: Megrahi is convicted of murder while Fhimah is acquitted. Megrahi is sentenced to life with a recommended minimum term of 20 years. He immediately appeals against his conviction.
April: Megrahi's appeal is rejected by a panel of five judges, chaired by Scotland's most senior judge, Lord Cullen.
September: Megrahi applies to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission to review his case.
November: A court tells Megrahi he must serve a minimum of 27 years as punishment for the crime, to comply with the Human Rights Act.
February: Megrahi is moved from a purpose-built prison unit in Glasgow to Greenock prison.
The SCCRC refers the cases back to the High Court on the grounds that Megrahi may have suffered a miscarriage of justice. Six grounds of appeal are referred to the court, but Megrahi's lawyers successfully argue that all 48 grounds should be heard.
September: Megrahi is diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
April: The High Court begins hearing Megrahi's appeal.
May 5: Scottish ministers receive an application from the Libyan government to transfer Megrahi to his home country under the Prisoner Transfer Agreement.
July 24: Megrahi applies for release on compassionate grounds after doctors say he is likely to die within three months.
August 14: Megrahi's lawyers seek leave from the High Court to abandon his appeal against conviction and sentence.
August 18: Judges accept Megrahi's request to drop the appeal.
August 20: Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill releases Megrahi on compassionate grounds after doctors give him three months to live. The prisoner transfer application is rejected. Megrahi is flown by private jet to Tripoli, where a large crowd turns out to greet him.
August 21: The Crown drops its appeal against Megrahi's sentence.
October 1: UK ministers and the Scottish Government release documents recording correspondence and other documents in the Megrahi case.
Nov 9: Campaigners try to force the Scottish Government to hold an inquiry into the conviction.
January 23: An FOI request reveals the Scottish Government received about 10,000 letters and emails about the release of the Lockerbie bomber.
February 8: Fresh calls are made by American senators to open an independent inquiry into the decision to free al-Megrahi.
February 11: A civil war breaks out in Libya and last until October.
April 15: Alex Salmond said he would “take no lectures” from Westminster politicians after former Conservative leader Michael Howard demanded he apologise for al-Megrahi’s release.
July 27: Al- Megrahi appears on Libyan television.
September 26: Libya’s interim justice minister Mohammed al Alagi declares Lockerbie case closed.
October 3: Al-Megrahi says 'leave me in peace' in first TV interview and says “the facts (about the Lockerbie bombing) will become clear one day and hopefully in the near future.”
October 20: The country’s leader Muammar Gaddafi is killed near Sirte.
March 25: The full text of Lockerbie bomber's grounds for appeal is published.
May 20: Megrahi’s death is confirmed by his brother.