Lockerbie Bomber Released

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Registered: 02-05-2009
Lockerbie Bomber Released
Sat, 08-22-2009 - 8:48am

Lockerbie Bombing Suspect Released and Controversy Grows (UPDATED)



The only convicted bomber in the December 1988 Lockerbie bombing which snuffed out the lives of 243 passengers and 16 crew — and killed 11 people on the ground — has been released in Scotland on compassionate grounds since he is terminally ill.

The bombing was a massive tragedy and a harbinger of the new Age of the Terrorist that was to come — and there are already signs that the release will be highly controversial. CNN:

The only man convicted over the Lockerbie bombing is to be released and allowed to return to Libya on compassionate grounds because he is terminally ill, Scotland’s justice minister said Thursday.

Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi 57 was serving a life sentence for bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, resulting in the deaths of 270 people.

The White House, which has urged Britain to keep al Megrahi behind bars, said it “deeply regrets” the decision.

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill told a news conference in Edinburgh the prisoner was “going home to die” and would be released within an hour of the announcement shortly after 1200 GMT (8 a.m. ET).

“Our justice system demands that judgment be imposed but compassion available,” MacAskill said. “Our beliefs dictate that justice be served but mercy be shown.”

According to CNN, the famliy members are divided over whether he should be released or not. Some have backed his release; others are enraged over it.

Martin Frost’s website puts the horror of the bombing into focus:

Pan Am Flight 103 was Pan American World Airways’ third daily scheduled transatlantic flight from London’s Heathrow International Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. On December 21, 1988, the aircraft flying this route, a Boeing 747-100 registered N739PA and named “Clipper Maid of the Seas”, was blown up as it flew over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, when 12 to 16 oz (340 to 450 g) of plastic explosive was detonated in its forward cargo hold, triggering a sequence of events that led to the rapid destruction of the aircraft. Winds of 100 knots (190 km/h) scattered passengers and debris along a 130 km (81 mile) corridor over an area of 845 square miles (2189 km²). Two hundred and seventy people from 21 countries died, including 11 people on the ground.

Known as the Lockerbie bombing and the Lockerbie air disaster in the UK, it became the subject of Britain’s largest criminal inquiry, led by its smallest police force. It was widely regarded as an assault on a symbol of the United States, and with 189 of the victims being Americans, it stood as the deadliest attack on American civilians until September 11, 2001.  (cont.)



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Sun, 08-23-2009 - 12:04pm

>"Megrahi, 57, is the only person to be convicted over the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in mid-air above the Scottish town of Lockerbie. He lost an appeal against his conviction in 2002.

However, a Scottish review of his case ruled in 2007 that the case may have been a miscarriage of justice."<

>"Others, equally firm in their opinion, hold that Iran and Syria together paid the Palestinian terrorist group led by Ahmed Jibril to blow up the jet — the spokesman for this line of thinking is Dr. Jim Swire, an Englishman whose daughter was killed that day. Dr. Swire has devoted time and energy to investigating this act of terrorism, and he believes that the imprisonment of al-Megrahi is a miscarriage of justice. Jibril was a particularly foul criminal who murdered a lot of people including many of his own men, and was himself finally murdered, seemingly at the orders of Saddam Hussein. That’s how they do things over there. The corpses pile up but the trail to establish culpability somehow always peters out, and you never know exactly whom to blame."<

There'll always be the question of who were the others in the dreadful act. He was not



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Mon, 08-24-2009 - 10:25am

Poor Americans no haggis or tartan kilts. ;)

Scotland Winces At Lockerbie Boycotts

Calls to shun Scottish goods after the release of Abdelbaset Al Megrahi are leading some to urge damage control.

LONDON -- The fallout from Scotland's decision to free the cancer-stricken Lockerbie bomber just won't go away. American campaigners are now calling on U.S. citizens to boycott Scottish and British companies, after the Scottish National Party decided last week to send Abdelbaset Al Megrahi back to Libya.

"Americans need to respond to this outrageous miscarriage of justice… by refusing to spend their tourist dollars in Scotland and avoiding any kind of business there," said the web site

Though many are irked by their government's decision, some Scots are relaxed about the issue. David Williamson of the Scottish Whiskey Association has told reporters that he doesn't expect any long-term damage to the 370 million-pound ($610 million) business of selling Scotch to Americans.

But others are urging damage control. "The Scottish exporters themselves need to contact their customers in States and emphasize that they are continuing business and give their own feelings on the issue to the customers," said Mike Wilson, executive coordinator of the Scottish Export Clubs Group, which represents approximately 100 Scottish companies exporting everything from oil to textiles to crafts.

Wilson is contacting members of his organization to encourage them to let their American clients know if they disagree with the government's decision to free Al Megrahi. "I haven't spoken to anyone who agrees with this," he says of his members.

The United States is Scotland's biggest trading partner, taking exports worth over 2 billion pounds ($3.3 billion) each year. "It's not the sort of publicity we're looking for as a nation," said Garry Clark, head of policy at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

"Clearly if there's any head of steam build up behind campaigns to boycott goods, it could have a short-term impact on our economy." This is not helpful when Scotland's rate of unemployment was at 7% in June and rising, and business confidence there is at a historic low.

Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has been facing international criticism over his decision to free the Lockerbie bomber and Scotland's Parliament was being recalled for an emergency debate on the matter on Monday.

Campaigners have also been calling for a boycott of BP outlets in the United States. The British oil giant struck a $2 billion energy deal with the Libyan government led by Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2007 and called the project its single biggest exploration commitment. (See "BP's Lucky In Libya.")




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Mon, 08-24-2009 - 10:39am

Lockerbie Bomber to Be Released




iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2000
Sat, 08-29-2009 - 8:11am

Megrahi backs Lockerbie inquiry

The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing has backed calls for a public inquiry into the atrocity.

Speaking to Scotland's The Herald newspaper from his home in the Libyan capital, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi said he was determined to clear his name.

He also said an inquiry would help families of the victims know the truth.

Megrahi, who is suffering from terminal prostate cancer, was released from Greenock Prison in Scotland last week on compassionate grounds.

He returned to a hero's welcome in Libya after serving eight years of a minimum 27 years sentence for murdering 270 people in the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over the town of Lockerbie, in southern Scotland. The scenes prompted international condemnation.

I support the issue of a public inquiry if it can be agreed

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi

The Herald quoted Megrahi as saying he would help Dr Jim Swire, whose 23-year-old daughter Flora died in the disaster and who has frequently called for a full public inquiry, by handing over all the documents in his possession.

In his first interview since being released, Megrahi told The Herald: "I support the issue of a public inquiry if it can be agreed.

"In my view, it is unfair to the victim's families that this has not been heard. It would help them to know the truth. The truth never dies. If the UK guaranteed it, I would be very supportive."

But Megrahi said he believed the UK government would avoid a public inquiry as it would cost a lot of money and also "show how much the Americans have been involved".

He said he dropped his appeal in the Scottish courts because he knew he would not live to see the outcome and was desperate to see his family, and insisted there was no pressure from Libyan or Scottish authorities.

'Interesting position'

And he made scathing comments about the Scottish legal system, but said he was impressed by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill during their meeting at Greenock Prison, describing him as "very decent".

Megrahi said his priority was now to spend time with his five children.

Lucy Adams, chief reporter of The Herald, told BBC News that Megrahi had looked "incredibly ill and weak" during her meeting with him, but had clearly been anxious for a public inquiry to be held.

Ms Adams said: "I think perhaps for those who are convinced of his guilt it seems interesting that he would back that and he would hand over the papers he has and the documents he has.

"That seems quite an interesting position from his point of view, because that would indicate he has nothing to hide."

He is currently writing an autobiography in which he hopes to convince people of his innocence

Lucy Adams
The Herald

Ms Adams said Megrahi had been interviewed in his large villa in Tripoli while he was lying on a "hospital-style bed" in his lounge.

She added: "He was surrounded by his family, his children and other relatives, and he seemed incredibly weak and frail. He spent much of the time coughing and having to pause, but seemed determined to talk about his case and the fact that in his opinion, while he will die soon, he said the truth will never die."

"He is currently writing an autobiography in which he hopes to convince people of his innocence. He has documents which have not yet been disclosed to the public, and documents that were being prepared for his appeal which he dropped last week as part of his hopes for returning to Tripoli."

The row over Mr MacAskill's decision to release Megrahi on compassionate grounds intensified on Friday when an ICM Research poll for BBC News said 60% of those questioned thought Mr MacAskill was wrong to release Megrahi, and 57% thought he should have stayed in prison until he died.

Thirty-two per cent said Mr MacAskill was right, 7% did not know, and 1% would not say.

The telephone poll of 1,005 adults took place on Wednesday and Thursday.