[The following are excerpts from a report published yesterday on the website of Assist News Service:]
Just weeks after members of Congress in the US had called for Abdel Basset al-Megrahi to be transferred back to Scotland to serve the remainder of his sentence, he was found in his home in Tripoli in a coma and on life support. (...)
With his continued survival an additional two years [after his compassionate release], several of the American Lockerbie family members began calling for his return to prison and enlisted the support of members of Congress in their efforts.
Lisa Gibson, who lost her brother Kenneth on the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am flight 103 has taken a different approach. She made a decision to forgive Megrahi and sent him a letter in June 2004 saying that “Only God knows if you are really responsible. But as a Christian I need to forgive you.”
Megrahi sent her a letter back in July 2004 saying he was sorry for her loss, that he could tell she was a religious person and that, like her, he has a family and would never commit such a horrific act.
He quoted scriptures, both from the Bible and the Quran, believing one day he would be proven innocent. He cited Luke 18 in his letter which says, “Listen to what the unjust judge says and will not God bring about Justice for his chosen ones who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you He will see that they get justice and quickly.”
Megrahi closed the letter by saying, “Madam, I pray for you to be happy in your life and suffer no such sadness in the future. I pray that there will be love amongst all mankind and for peace on Earth for God is peace, goodness and in God we find eternal happiness.” (...)
When news came out about the decision to release Megrahi on compassionate grounds Gibson was the lone voice supporting the decision. It went with her consistent desire and belief that the only effective way to fight hate and evil is to walk in the opposite spirit of love. She saw it as the honorable way to respond. In 2010, she asked visit him in Libya, but his health was failing and he declined the request.
“I believe justice is about deterring future bad behavior more than being purely punitive. I saw no evidence that Megrahi was a danger to society,” said Gibson, a Christian attorney based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “So, what good would it serve by requiring him to die in prison. The moral high ground is to allow him to die with dignity, even if he really was responsible for our families’ death. When I heard the news at Megrahi was in a coma and close to death it gave me peace to know that they made the right decision to release him on compassionate grounds, ” Gibson said.