EYEWITNESSES to the Lockerbie bombing as well as those who dealt with the aftermath could be allowed to watch and listen live to new criminal court proceedings.

The Scotsman reports that under the legislative proposals, the surviving relatives of those killed in the December 1988 bombing as well as those deemed to have suffered harm after being near the crash site could be given access to video and telephone links set up during the trial of Abu Agila Masud.

The Libyan national has been accused by US authorities of building the device that was used in the attack, which claimed the lives of 259 passengers when Pan Am flight 103 was downed over the Scottish town.

It was travelling from London to New York and a further 11 people were killed when the wreckage from the aircraft hit their homes.

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Services were recently held to mark 35 years since the disaster while the First Minister also paid tribute to the victims of the attack.

Masud has been charged with two counts of destruction of an aircraft resulting in death as well as a count of destruction of a vehicle resulting in death.

He has already pleaded not guilty to all three charges when he appeared in a federal court in Washington DC in February.

No date has yet been set for his trial but prosecutors from the US Department of Justice (DoJ) have said, given the elderly age of many of the relatives of those killed, special provisions should be made so they do not have to travel to the US to witness the trial in person.

The National: Wreaths and floral tributes laid during a ceremony to mark the 35th anniversary of the LockerbieWreaths and floral tributes laid during a ceremony to mark the 35th anniversary  of the disaster - Image: PA

Although some states permit camera to televise courtroom proceedings, there is a blanket ban across federal courts.

However, two senators have introduced legislation to the US Congress backing the DoJ’s arguments.

Those behind the law – titled the Meaningful Access to Court Proceedings for Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 Act – says that a “significant portion” of the surviving victims and next of kin are either elderly or physically unable to attend proceedings in person.

If passed, the legislation would secure access not only for the relatives of victims in the US, but those in Scotland and further afield as well.

The specific wording states that anyone who suffered “direct or proximate harm” as a result of the bombing, and who was present or near the scene, should have access to the remote video and telephonic facility at the US court.

The bill has been introduced by Republican senator John Cornyn and his Democratic counterpart Kirsten Gillibrand with both arguing the new measure would allow those effected by the attack to see justice play out regardless of where they live.

Cornyn told The Scotsman: “For more than three decades, the families of the 270 individuals tragically killed in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 have waited for those responsible to be held accountable for this unspeakable act of terror.

“This legislation would ensure surviving family members can access the criminal court proceedings no matter where they live, and I urge my colleagues to pass it without delay.”

Gillibrand meanwhile added: “The families of the 270 victims on board Pan Am flight 103, including 190 Americans and 35 Syracuse University students, deserve transparency and answers.

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“They have the right to view the proceedings of this trial and I am introducing this legislation to make sure they can.”

In its submission to the Washington DC court, the DoJ has argued “alternative procedures” should be considered “appropriate”.

One document, filed by the US district attorney for the District of Columbia Matthew Graves, points out the victims included citizens from 21 countries.

He also said that even in the event all the relatives were able to attend the court, there would be questions over whether this could be facilitated practically given the size of the group.

The submission calls for a “call-in telephone line” which would allow people to listen to the proceedings in real time.