West wants Lockerbie bomber back from Libya

By Sipho Hlongwane 25 August 2011

Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic want the national transitional council of Libya to hand over the Lockerbie bomber back to Scotland or to the US. The problem is that Scotland released him from prison on compassionate grounds two years ago - in a case echoing South Africa’s own Schabir Shaik fiasco. By SIPHO HLONGWANE.

Abdel Baset al-Megrahi pulled a Schabir Shaik con when he turned up very much alive at a pro-Gaddafi rally in Tripoli on 26 July, two years after he was released from prison in Scotland on compassionate grounds due to prostate cancer, apparently with scant months to live.

Politicians in Britain and the US – which has an outstanding criminal indictment on Megrahi – say that the rebels should send him to the US to stand trial. There are calls for Gaddafi to appear before the ICC for the Lockerbie terrorist bombing of a Pan-Am flight that claimed 270 lives.

The transitional council rightfully pointed out that Megrahi was the least of their problems. “Before we can deliver justice to Gaddafi’s many victims, we must first bring down the regime and then turn to the important work of forming a new government, writing a constitution and establishing the rule of law,” it said in a statement.

There’s also the question of which law would be used to bring Megrahi to the US to face trial. He can’t exactly be dragged back to Scotland as he hasn’t breached the conditions of his release. DM

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