The first stage of Abdelbaset Megrahi's appeal did in fact end yesterday. Here is what the Lord Justice General (Lord Hamilton) said at the conclusion of the proceedings:
'The court is much obliged to counsel on either hand for the careful and comprehensive submissions which have been made at this stage of the appeal. We will now, of course, require to give these submissions detailed and careful consideration. A question will arise as to whether it is appropriate to decide grounds 1 and 2 at this stage or, alternatively, to defer that decision until we have heard argument on other grounds, which are or may be closely related to them.
'We appreciate that having regard to, among other things, the appellant's state of health there will be concern that we deal with these matters as expeditiously as possible. But having regard to their importance to all concerned, we cannot and must not rush to judgment.
'Time has been set aside towards the end of this term for a procedural hearing in relation to further grounds of appeal. And in terms of the interlocutor of 18 March of this year, days were set aside in the week commencing 29 June for that purpose. For reasons which it is not necessary to go into, we intend to change that date or dates to dates in the week following that, that is the week commencing 6 July. We expect that by that time we will have reached a decision as to whether or not we should decide grounds 1 and 2 at this stage and to be able to intimate which course of action, either deciding them at this stage or deferring them, we have decided upon.
'But by this time, we shall simply continue the appeal to the first of the dates which are now substituted for the procedural matters which we have referred to, that is to Tuesday 7 July of this year.'
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