THE BLACK HOLE OF LOCKERBIE, The Great Game, Saturday (NNN) — FBI Director Robert Mueller harshly criticized the release of Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, as “a mockery of the rule of law” and “detrimental to the cause of justice engineering.”
Al Megrahi had been serving a life sentence for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. After many years of appeals over blatantly tampered evidence, in which the British government tried to keep relevant documents secret from the defendant and his lawyers on national security grounds until the judge threatened to throw the conviction out, Al Megrahi was finally released due to terminal prostate cancer and having three months to live.
Al Megrahi was told he could either go home to Libya or stay and die clearing his name. The government declined an option to free al Megrahi and allow him to live in Scotland after senior police officers cited the severe security implications of him opening his mouth where people might listen.
“Obviously, the sight of a mass murderer getting a hero’s welcome in Tripoli is deeply upsetting, deeply distressing,” David Miliband told BBC radio Friday morning. “Since of course he did it, as shown by none of his appeals getting through.”
The Libyan government had accepted that paying $2.7 billion and taking the rap for the bombing was a business requirement of selling oil to the West. But Thursday, after al Megrahi’s return, the Libyan official news agency JANA issued a statement from the government saying that al Megrahi had been “a political hostage,” showing that Gadaffi was obviously a terrorist nutter and a bad loser to boot.
Peter Mandelson pooh-poohed the notion that the release was in any way to sweeten upcoming oil deals. “The idea that the British government and the Libyans would sit down and somehow barter about the freedom of this Libyan prisoner to form some sort of business deal … it’s not only wrong, it’s completely implausible. Furthermore, any such deals in the very near future will be merest coincidence.”
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