" ... Details of the transatlantic diplomatic efforts that followed the revelation that Megrahi could be freed early came as the convicted bomber called for a public inquiry into the Lockerbie atrocity. In an interview with The Herald, a Glasgow newspaper, he said he was determined to clear his name – and that an inquiry would help families of the victims know the truth. ... "
Excerpt: By Brian Brady, Whitehall Editor
30 August 2009
Revealed: Britain and America's major disagreement over where Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi should end his days
Scottish ministers went ahead with the controversial decision to send the Lockerbie bomber back to Libya despite an American offer to bankroll his "house arrest" in the UK, it emerged yesterday. US officials had "very reluctantly" backed a proposal to move Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi from Greenock Prison into some kind of high-security accommodation elsewhere in Scotland, senior government sources on both sides of the Atlantic confirmed. ...
But the Scottish National Party government in Edinburgh eventually chose the option of compassionate release, claiming police chiefs had ruled that the security implications of house arrest would be "severe". However, Strathclyde Police denied last week that they had made any judgement on the proposal, and claimed they had only told the Scottish government how many officers would be needed. ...
Details of the transatlantic diplomatic efforts that followed the revelation that Megrahi could be freed early came as the convicted bomber called for a public inquiry into the Lockerbie atrocity.
In an interview with The Herald, a Glasgow newspaper, he said he was determined to clear his name – and that an inquiry would help families of the victims know the truth.
"It [an inquiry] would help them to know the truth. The truth never dies. If the UK guaranteed it, I would be very supportive." ...
Megrahi ultimately served eight years of a minimum 27-year sentence.... After Megrahi returned to a hero's welcome in Tripoli, President Barack Obama said he should at least be subjected to house arrest in Libya during his final days. ...
The far-reaching implications of the Megrahi affair were underlined last night, when the Sunday Times claimed letters from the Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, to Mr MacAskill prove the British Government had decided it was "in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom" to make the bomber eligible for return to Libya.
The leaked letters reportedly revealed that Mr Straw made the decision after discussions between Libya and BP over a multi-million-pound oil exploration deal had hit difficulties. These were resolved soon afterwards. ...
Sunday, August 30, 2009
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