Lockerbie bombing suspect pleads not guilty to three charges

Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi appeared in a federal court in Washington.

Lockerbie bombing suspect pleads not guilty to three charges, US court hears AAIB

The man suspected of building the bomb that downed Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988 – killing 270 people – has pleaded not guilty, a US court has heard.

Abu Agila Mohammad Mas’ud Kheir Al-Marimi is alleged to have helped make the bomb which killed all 259 passengers and crew on board the jumbo jet bound to New York from London on December 21, 1988.

Another 11 people were killed in Lockerbie when wreckage destroyed their homes, in what remains Britain’s deadliest terrorist attack.

Libyan-born Mas’ud faces three charges, including two counts of destruction of an aircraft resulting in death, and a further count of destruction of a vehicle resulting in death.

He appeared in a federal court in Washington on Wednesday and pleaded not guilty to all three charges.

Each of the charges are punishable by a sentence of up to life imprisonment, the death penalty or a fine of up to 250,000 US dollars (£206,000).

A previous hearing in December heard that Mas’ud will not face the death penalty because the bombing occurred before the specific charges which he faces carried a possible penalty of capital punishment.

A further hearing was fixed for later in February for Judge Moxila Upadhyaya to hear arguments on whether Mas’ud should be detained or released for trial.

In December, US officials announced that Mas’ud, who allegedly worked as an intelligence agent for the country’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, had been taken into custody, two years after it was revealed he had been charged in connection with the explosion.

In 2020, he was charged by US Attorney General William Barr with being the third person involved in the terrorist attack.