A reputable Scottish journalist tells me that there is a report in today's edition of the Daily Mail to the effect that the United States has formally requested the Libyan National Transitional Council to extradite Abdelbaset Megrahi to the United States and that a NTC spokesman has responded that the present Libyan government has no interest in Megrahi and any state that wants him can have him. I cannot find this story on the Mail Online website, but many reports of primarily Scottish interest are never posted there.
If Libya had a normally-functioning government and judicial system any such extradtion request would be summarily rejected. Abdelbaset Megrahi has already stood trial for the crimes in respect of which a US Federal indictment was obtained in 1991. The international warrant for that trial was a United Nations Security Council Resolution (1192 of 27 August 1998) passed at the instigation of the United States and the United Kingdom following a joint letter of 24 August 1998 (S/1998/795) to the Secretary General. That Security Council resolution required all UN member states (including the US) to cooperate. In the trial that followed at Camp Zeist, United States government lawyers (Messrs Murtagh and Biehl) formed part of the Lord Advocate's prosecution team. For the United States to seek Megrahi's extradition to be tried in the United States for the same crimes would be a perversion of international legality. Moreover, no US Federal Court with any respect for the rule of law and sensitive to governmental abuse of process would accept jurisdiction to retry him in these circumstances. However, if the US Department of State wants something badly enough, questions of legality are likely to count for little.
As far as the United Kingdom is concerned, the government in London should be gravely concerned about this attempt by the United States to subvert the international juridical regime that was set up to resolve the Lockerbie affair; and the Scottish Government should be gravely concerned about a deliberate attempt by the United States to take action that would place Abdelbaset Megrahi, entirely against his will, in breach of the terms of the licence under which he was released from his Scottish prison.
[The report in question may have been in the Scottish edition of The Sun, not the Daily Mail.
A related news item in Scottish lawyers' magazine The Firm can be read here. A short report appears in the Friday 4 November edition of The Herald.]