Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Gaddafi raises Lockerbie bomber with UK's Brown - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page
Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi (C) arrives for a meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) and participating African countries at the G8 summit in L'Aquila, in central Italy, on July 10, 2009 (AFP)

Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi (C) arrives for a meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) and participating African countries at the G8 summit in L’Aquila, in central Italy, on July 10, 2009 (AFP)

L’AQUILA, Italy, (Reuters) – Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi on Friday asked British Prime Minister Gordon Brown for help in the case of the dying former Libyan agent who is appealing against a life sentence for the 1988 Lockerbie aircraft bombing.

The Scottish Appeal Court said this week the case would not be concluded until next year, raising concerns that 57-year-old Abdel Basset al-Megrahi — who is suffering from terminal prostate cancer– will die before the appeal finishes. “Gaddafi raised the issue of Mr Megrahi,” Brown’s spokesman told reporters at the G8 summit in Italy, where the two leaders held bilateral talks, the first time they had met.

“The Libyans reiterated their longstanding position that they would like to see him go back to Libya. The prime minister made clear it was a matter for the Scottish government.”

The Libyan and British governments signed a prisoner transfer agreement this year and Tripoli has sought Megrahi’s return. But Scotland has a separate legal system from the rest of Britain and his fate lies with the Scottish government.

Scotland’s Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill is currently consulting all parties concerned, including the U.S. and Libyan governments and families of the victims of the bombing before deciding whether to accede to Libya’s request.

A total of 270 people were killed when the Pan Am jumbo jet exploded over the southwestern Scottish town of Lockerbie, including 189 Americans and 11 people on the ground.

After a trial in a special Scottish court meeting in The Netherlands in 2001, Megrahi was sentenced to 27 years’ in prison. “There is a very serious danger that my client will die before the case is determined,” Megrahi’s lawyer told the appeal court this week, adding that his health “is deteriorating with a relentless onset of symptoms”. His lawyers have questioned whether the trial court was right to accept evidence relating to his identification, the type of fuse in the bomb and how it was consigned to the Pan Am flight.

In the next hearings, legal sources said the appeal lawyers were expected to introduce fresh evidence and question the competence of his previous lawyers.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown attends a meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) and participating African countries at the G8 summit in L'Aquila, in central Italy, on July 10, 2009 (AFP)

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown attends a meeting of the Group of Eight (G8) and participating African countries at the G8 summit in L’Aquila, in central Italy, on July 10, 2009 (AFP)

Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi walks towards US President Barack Obama during the Group of Eight (G8) summit in L'Aquila, central Italy, on July 9, 2009 (AFP)

Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi walks towards US President Barack Obama during the Group of Eight (G8) summit in L’Aquila, central Italy, on July 9, 2009 (AFP)

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

More Posts

Follow Me:
FacebookGoogle PlusYouTube