In the wake of the sole convicted Lockerbie bomber’s return to a hero’s welcome in Tripoli, accusations intensified in Britain that lucrative Libyan oil contracts were as much a factor in his release as compassion for a dying man.
The bomber, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, suffering from terminal prostate cancer, was freed from a Scottish prison on Thursday and flown home in a V.I.P. jetliner to scenes of jubilation in Libya that were broadcast around the world, angering many in Britain and America, including President Obama.
On Friday, Lord Trefgarne, chairman of the Libyan British Business Council, said Mr. Megrahi’s release had opened the way for Britain’s leading oil companies to pursue multibillion-dollar oil contracts with Libya, which had demanded Mr. Megrahi’s return in talks with British officials and business executives.
Lord Trefgarne told the BBC that talks on oil contracts had “not moved as fast as we would have hoped and expected” since Tony Blair, then prime minister, met in a tent in Libya five years ago with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, and set the terms for the “deal in the desert” that sketched a reconciliation between Colonel Qaddafi’s pariah government and the West.
British business executives had made no secret of their intense lobbying for a prisoner transfer treaty proposed by Mr. Blair and Col. Qaddafi and finally ratified by Britain and Libya in April; before Mr. Megrahi’s cancer diagnosis, that treaty was seen as the most likely avenue for his return to Libya. But his cancer, and a finding by medical specialists that he was not likely to live more than three months, cleared the way for his release on compassionate grounds.
“Perhaps now, with the final resolution of the Lockerbie affair, as far as the Libyans are concerned, maybe they’ll move a bit more swiftly,” Lord Trefgarne said. NY TIMES
Gaddafi embraces Lockerbie bomber and thanks his ‘courageous friend’ Gordon Brown for releasing him.
The international furore over the release of the Lockerbie bomber deepened today after he was seen embracing Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi. In scenes that will provoke outrage among victims’ families and the U.S. government, TV footage showed Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi meeting Gaddafi in Tripoli.
It came as Gordon Brown faced fresh pressure after shocking claims by Libya that the release of the bomber was linked explicity to trade deals benefiting Britain.
The growing sense of unease in Downing Street intensified today after Col Gaddafi praised ‘my friend’ Gordon Brown and the British Government for their part in securing Megrahi’s freedom.
‘To my friends in Scotland, the Scottish National Party, and Scottish prime minister, and the foreign secretary, I praise their courage for having proved their independence in decision making despite the unacceptable and unreasonable measures that they faced. Nevertheless they took this courageously right and humanitarian decision,’ he said.
‘And I say to my friend Brown, the Prime Minister of Britain, his Government, the Queen of Britain, Elizabeth, and Prince Andrew, who all contributed to encouraging the Scottish government to take this historic and courageous decision, despite the obstacles.’
Speaking on Libyan television, Colonel Gaddafi’s son said Mr Blair raised the Megrahi case repeatedly to smooth the way for British firms to tap into Libya’s energy reserves.
He told the Al Mutawassit channel: ‘In all commercial contracts, for oil and gas with Britain, (Megrahi) was always on the negotiating table.’ UK DAILY MAIL
Interesting recreation of the breakup of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie. Apparently most of the people were not killed upon the initial explosion, but rather fell to their deaths in the plane.
But what can one expect from a country that has allowed itself to be Islamicized via mass immigration, multiculturalism and political correctness?
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