Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Libya’s new leaders understand U.S. concern about the release of the Lockerbie bomber and offered assurances that they will address the matter, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today.
Abdel-Baset al-Megrahi, convicted to life in prison for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and released in 2009 on compassionate grounds due to prostate cancer, “should be behind bars,” said Clinton, speaking at the end of a one-day meeting in Paris of nations that support the government formed by rebels who fought against Muammar Qaddafi.
“We think justice was aborted,” she said. The United States “categorically disagrees” with the decision by the Scottish judiciary to release him and keeps the case against the Libyan open, she said.
U.S. lawmakers have called on Libya’s new leaders to hold al-Megrahi accountable for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people. U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, has demanded that the release of funds to Libya’s National Transitional Council be contingent on returning him to jail.
Many of the victims of the bombing came from New York state, which Clinton represented for eight years in the U.S. Senate.
The Libyan rebel government has said it won’t deport al- Megrahi, according to an Associated Press report.
Clinton raised the issue with NTC leaders during a private meeting, according to a U.S. official who was not authorized to publicly discuss private diplomatic conversations.
--Editors: Terry Atlas, Steven Komarow
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