Monday, 22 August 2011

Calls rise to send Lockerbie bomber back to prison

[This is the headline over a recent post on the Washington Wire blog of The Wall Street Journal. It reads as follows:]

The shape of a post-Gadhafi Libya is only just emerging, but already there are bipartisan calls in the US for the Transitional National Council to send the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, back to prison.

Sen Charles Schumer (D, NY) issued a statement Monday saying such action by the TNC, which the Obama administration recognizes as Libya’s legitimate governing authority, would “send a strong statement to the world.”

Former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential front-runner, issued a similar statement calling on the TNC “to arrest and extradite” Mr al-Megrahi “so justice can finally be done.”

A White House spokesman had no comment Monday on President Barack Obama’s position.

Mr al-Megrahi was convicted in connection with 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people, many of them Americans. He was released in 2009 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer and given three months to live. After arriving in Libya he was given a hero’s welcome by the Gadhafi government that drew outcry around the world.

In recent months, Mr al-Megrahi appeared on Libyan state TV attending a pro-Gadhafi rally. His apparent good health and the collapse of the Gadhafi regime has led to calls that he be returned to prison.

“Two years after an incorrect medical prognosis prompted his release from prison, the Lockerbie bomber is not only alive and well, but seems to have even outlived the Qaddafi regime,” Mr Schumer said in his statement

“As a transitional government takes hold in Libya, it should seek to undo the injustice of al-Megrahi’s release by returning him to the jail cell where he belongs,” he added. “A new Libya can send a strong statement to the world by declaring it will no longer be a haven for this convicted terrorist.”

Mr Romney said the arrest and extrication of Mr al-Megrahi should be the TNC’s first step toward “a representative form of government that supports freedom, human rights, and the rule of law.”

[A similar report headlined Gadhafi's downfall revives bitter dispute over Lockerbie bomber appears on the CNN website.

For a further flavour of what Americans are being treated to from their media, have a look at this transcript of an interview by a Fox News commentator with former US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton.]

1 comment:

  1. Don't enough people in Libya understand what Megrahi did for them when he surrendered to trial in 1999? And not just for Gadaffi and his supporters either, but for everybody in the whole damn country.

    Will these goons simply hand him over to the Americans for a one-way trip to the death penalty, after all that?