Tony Blair Was Complicit In Release Of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi
BRITISH ministers secretly briefed Libya’s Government on how to secure the early release of the Lockerbie bomber – Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi.
The man convicted of the UK’s worst mass murder was released after Tony Blair’s Government had advised Tripoli the man convicted of downing the Pan Am flight 103 the Maid of the Seas was held in Scotland and subject to Scottish law but Blair’s government had control of Foreign policy. Two hundred and seventy were killed when the plane was destroyed.
Wikileaks has released leaked US diplomatic cables which show the US Government was complicit since it knew of the talks and had been briefed.
Which was more than the Scottish Government and the Scots First Minister Alex Salmond today says Blair’s ministers were “playing false”
The Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill released the bomber 15 months ago after being told Megraghi had three months to live.
One memo, obtained by WikiLeaks and seen by The Glasgow Herald, refers to a 2008 letter sent to Tripoli outlining how to secure the compassionate release of prisoners held in Scottish jails.
The memo, marked as classified and written by Richard LeBaron, US diplomat and chargé d’affaires at the American embassy in London, discusses how Megrahi “could have as long as five years to live, although the average life expectancy of someone of his age with his condition is 18 months to two years”.
Former justice secretary Jack Straw has previously denied that pressure from Libya had played any part in the Megrahi decision.
According to the Telegraph
The memo also says while Scotland’s Justice Minister, Kenny MacAskill, would normally make the final decision on compassionate release, First Minister Alex Salmond “told Jack Straw that he will make the final decision in this case”.
In Scotland the decision was said to be entirely that of the Justice Secretary. Technically Salmond should never have had a say in the issue.
The cable also says Salmond “expressed his ire” to Tony Blair “for not consulting Scotland beforehand” over an intention to pursue a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya in 2007.
Anorak covered that at the time.