Monday, 22 August 2011

Bring the Lockerbie bomber back to Britain

[This is the headline over an article on The Telegraph website by Nile Gardiner, "conservative commentator, director of the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation, and a former aide to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He is also a commentator on US and British television and a frequent contributor to the Fox News network". It reads as follows:]

With the impending downfall of Muammar Gaddafi, I imagine the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, is a very nervous man today. Megrahi was released to the Libyan government almost exactly two years ago by Scottish authorities on “compassionate grounds”, supposedly dying of cancer with just a few months to live, and was feted like a hero on his return to Tripoli. He has since staged something resembling a “miraculous” recovery, and is alive and well and expected to survive for several more years. Under Gaddafi’s patronage al-Megrahi has been living a life of luxury in Libya, frequently wheeled out as a ghastly cause célèbre by the old regime, in every effort to cause offence to the US and Britain.

An immediate priority for Downing Street – if a transitional government takes charge – should be to get al-Megrahi on a plane to London, where he should serve the rest of his life sentence. The Lockerbie bomber is one of the biggest mass murderers of modern times, responsible for the killing of 189 Americans and 43 Britons on board PanAm Flight 103, blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, as well as the murder of 38 passengers from 19 other countries. His release by Scottish authorities with the complicity of the Labour government was sickening – and a stain on Britain’s international reputation.

The Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary must press a post-Gaddafi government to arrest Megrahi and have him extradited to the United Kingdom. At the same time, the British government should back a further inquiry into the release of the Lockerbie bomber, drawing on any relevant Libyan government files that may become available, shedding additional light on the whole affair. A price must be paid for the shedding of British and American blood, and the Lockerbie bomber should be back where he belongs – behind bars. And as for “Mad Dog” Gaddafi, the butcher of Tripoli will no doubt get his just desserts from his own people, who have suffered four decades of relentless fear and terror at his murderous hands.

[Well, at least he's not calling for Megrahi's summary execution or rendition to the United States. In Nile Gardiner's book that probably amounts to moderation.

And trust an insignificant, homoeopathy-supporting Tory MP to add his tuppenceworth: Call for Libya's al-Megrahi to be reimprisoned in UK.]


  1. Clearly Mr Megrahi cannot continue living in Tripoli under the protection of the new regime.

  2. I wonder if Nile Gardiner would like to add the following article to the archive at The Heritage Foundation: 'Lockerbie Conspiracy' by Thatcher and Reagan?