British ministers ‘acted like lawyers for Libyans’ to secure Lockerbie bomber’s early release

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

LONDON - The release of Whitehall papers have revealed that Britain’s last Labour government had ‘acted like lawyers for the Libyans’ in securing the early release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds.

Megrahi was released in August 2009 after doctors had claimed that he was suffering from cancer and would survive only for three more months. He received a hero’s welcome back home in Tripoli, but the terrorist is still living as a free man in Libya almost18 months after his release.

A review headed by Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell has found that the British ministers were determined to seal a BP oil deal and strengthen political ties with Libya, the Daily Mail reports.

Sir Gus’s report has also released memos and letters focussing on the trade relations between London and Edinburgh linking the fate of Megrahi to other issues.

At one point, ministers apparently went to the level of considering swapping Megrahi’s release for concessions to the Holyrood government, including funding human rights compensation awarded to Scottish prisoners, the paper said.

The releases have outraged families of Lockerbie bombing victims, with one saying: “I’m not sure Britain can sink much lower.”

Yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron had accused the previous Labour government of ‘insufficient consideration’ over Libya’s efforts to secure the release of al-Megrahi.

Senior Labour Cabinet ministers have always denied involvement in the Libyan’s release, insisting that the decision was solely take by the Scottish government. (ANI)

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