Behind the Scenes: How the Lockerbie Bomber Went Free

Tomorrow’s Telegraph has the latest on the shameful story of how Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi came to be freed on grounds of “compassion.” The doctors who certified that Megrahi had only three months to live–a requirement for release under Scottish law–were paid by the government of Libya, which told the doctors that it would be “helpful” if they would give the necessary opinion.
There’s more: Libya threatened Great Britain with serious consequences if Megrahi died in prison:

Mousa Kousa, a senior Libyan politician who was expelled from Britain in 1980 for boasting of a plot to kill Libyan dissidents in London, played a key role in the talks to free Megrahi, and threatened serious consequences if the prisoner died in jail. Mr Kousa, now the Libyan foreign minister, was once implicated in planning the Lockerbie bombing – a claim he vehemently denies. According to the minutes of a meeting on Jan 22 between Libyan and Scottish officials: “Mr Kousa stated that Mr al-Megrahi’s death in Scotland would not be viewed well by the Muslims or Arabs. Nor would it be good for relations.” …
Senior business sources have told The Sunday Telegraph that Britain was desperate that Megrahi should not die in jail after warnings by Libya in May that if this happened trade deals between the two countries – worth billions of pounds – would be cancelled. British businessmen were also told that plans to open a London office of the Libyan Investment Authority, a sovereign fund with $136billion (£83billion) to invest, would be jeopardised if Megrahi died in jail.

So Libya bullied the government of the United Kingdom, to the extent that “[t]he Scottish and British governments actively assisted Megrahi and his legal team to seek a release on compassionate grounds.” Not only that, the British government actually paid Libya 146,000 pounds for the privilege of being humiliated. And these people are the heirs of Winston Churchill!
Does this story have a silver lining? Perhaps: the Telegraph reports that Muammar Gaddafi is disappointed that Megrahi’s release has generated so much criticism in the U.S.:

It has emerged in the US that the jubilant scenes that accompanied Megrahi’s return to Tripoli last month have severely jeopardised a meeting that Col Muammar Gaddafi was trying to engineer with President Barack Obama in New York later this month.
The Libyan leader had hoped for a warm embrace from the president, proving that he was no longer an international pariah.

Well, that wasn’t an unreasonable expectation. Remember how warmly Obama treated Gaddafi’s pal Hugo Chavez. Maybe Obama, too, was taken aback by the fact that most Americans don’t forget so easily when their countrymen are slaughtered by terrorists.
As for Megrahi, one can only hope that the medical opinions that were bought by the Libyan government turn out to be accurate, and the son of a bitch dies. Soon.

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