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Anorak | Abdelbasset al-Megrahi: Lies, Murder, Money News Round-Up

Abdelbasset al-Megrahi: Lies, Murder, Money News Round-Up

by | 20th, August 2010

LOCKERBIE bomber Abdelbasset al-Megrahi refuses to make things easy and die of his terminal prostate cancer. One year after his release from a Scotland’s Greenock prison – when he was given three months to live – the convicted mass murderer remains alive and free in Libya. He was scheduled to die on October 28 2009.

He lives. Any death bed confession or testimony will not be heard in the UK.

The media news round-up:

An Innocent Man

Scottish MP Christine Grahame (SNP) says:

She said there were “gaping holes” in the case brought against Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, who was the only one convicted of the bombing, which raised serious questions over “the safety of his conviction”.

Who Speaks For The Victims?

Speaking on the eve of today’s anniversary, Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray asked: “How much compassion did his government show to the American relatives of the 270 people killed at Lockerbie?”

The Victims Speak

“We were promised that anyone convicted would serve their sentence in Scotland,” explains Mary Kay Stratis – Elia’s widow and Sonia’s mother. “We feel betrayed by governments.”

Ms Stratis says she will walk down the aisle with a picture of her father, who was killed aboard the flight. And Mary Kay Stratis voices a concern shared by almost all the American relatives. “We are sceptical about any release based on compassion. We are wondering whether there was some other reason why he was released.”

Another adds:

“The whole thing stinks,” says Peter Lowenstein, whose 20-year-old son Alexander was among the 189 American victims – two-thirds of the total number who died. – BBC

How Long Does he have To Live?

Free for a year, Megrahi ‘could live another two’ – First Post

Lockerbie bomber could live until 2017, say doctors – Mail

So Who Said He Only Had 3 Months?

Megrahi was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer in September 2008. When he was released last year, Mr MacAskill said he based his decision on numerous comprehensive medical reports including opinions of consultants who had treated the bomber.

Mr MacAskill was provided with reports and recommendations by the governor of Greenock Prison, the doctors and prison social work staff. He also consulted the parole board.

But the only publicly available document on Megrahi’s health is from Dr Andrew Fraser who, although he is the SPS director of health and care, is not a cancer specialist. While describing the three-month prognosis as “reasonable”, his report states that no-one “would be willing to say” if Megrahi would live longer.

On The Offensive

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “Any celebration of Megrahi’s release would be tasteless, offensive and deeply insensitive to the victims’ families. We have made our concerns clear to the Libyan government.”

What is more offensive to the victims’ families – letting the killer of 270 people go free or a party?

Party On!

A huge party is planned in Tripoli with thousands of teenagers wearing T-shirts showing the murderer’s face. And a giant screen will show Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi arriving home to a hero’s welcome in Tripoli on August 20 last year.

The Deal

Precisely what role BP played in securing Megrahi’s release, or what bearing this had on its $900 million oil exploration contract, remains unclear. The company says it did no more than lobby the Scottish Parliament for a prisoner swap. But many senior officials in the Obama administration believe that BP was more deeply involved. They point to the role played by Sir Mark Allen, a former senior MI6 officer who headed the negotiations that persuaded Libya to stop work on its nuclear weapons programme, in late 2003, and wrote to the Foreign Office seeking Megrahi’s release – Con Coughlin

This Is Well Put

As al Megrahi flew home to a hero’s welcome, Mr MacAskill sounded as though he was giving him the last rites by referring to him facing sentence by a “higher power”. His cancer was supposed to be aggressive and untreatable.

Now Mr MacAskill says the prognosis was “not an exact science”. Doctors advised him that three months was a “reasonable” estimate”, but none could say if he would live longer.

Many might ask why the release was not delayed until the prognosis was stronger, but these doubts will ensure that conspiracy theories over external pressures will continue along with strained relations with certain factions in the US.

Poor Mr MacAskill

Scotland’s justice secretary has defended his decision to release the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing – describing it as “probably the hardest decision that I’ve ever had to make”. – STV

Mr MacAskill said: “It was a decision I HAD to make. It’s clear he has lived longer than three months but it’s also undeniable he is terminally ill.” – Sun

The Student

Megrahi arrived in the UK in 1971 to study engineering at Cardiff College of Technology.

Anyone know him from back then..?



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