Thursday, 3 November 2011

Has United States asked Libyan NTC to extradite Megrahi?

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.]


  1. The ends to all this is to create destabilization. The NTC which seems to have few ties t Libya, will grant extradition if nothing else but to create outrage among the citizens.

  2. After learning how regime change etc. is working I am afraid you may be right on spot. Divide and conquer. Nothing is really new, I suppose. I just thought we'd gotten further.

  3. "A reputable Scottish journalist"

    Oh, you naughty man. Your tongue is so far in your cheek you'll do yourself a mischief.

    Anyway: there will be no extradition. Megrahi will be NATOed very soon, just like Gadaffi. You know when you've been NATOed

  4. More than inclined to agree with Vronsky given NATO's hit man track record for the elites over the "pond" and their comprador lickspittles this side of it.

    God help Mr Megrahi and his family - a deadman "walking" regardless of when the cancer gets him or a trigger happy snatch squad obviating the need for judges in the States to rule against their political masters in terms of international law.

    O/T and pre or post-Mr Megrahi's fate - God help him again - it looks like Iran and/or Syria next on the agenda of the Neo-Con "Great Gamers" post-Libya and the murders there.

    Whither the rule and spirit now of international law and justice?

  5. Reputable Scottish journalists, on Lockerbie and Megrahi, are about as thin on the ground as reputable Scottish politicians.