Barack Obama denounced the release of Lockerbie Bomber Abdel Baset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the only person convicted of the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 bombing in which 270 people were killed, back in August 2009:
However CNS News reported today that the Obama Administration preferred the release of Meghahi on compassionate grounds.
The Obama administration on Monday released the text of the LeBaron letter. It says Megrahi’s release on compassionate grounds would be “far preferable” than his return to Libya under a prisoner transfer agreement, but also sets two important conditions to this – he would have to remain in Scotland under supervision, and Scotland would have to release “the results of independent and comprehensive medical exams clearly establishing that Megrahi’s life expectancy is less than three months.” The full text of the letter is here.
White House backed release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-MegrahiTHE US government secretly advised Scottish ministers it would be “far preferable” to free the Lockerbie bomber than jail him in Libya.
Correspondence obtained by The Sunday Times reveals the Obama administration considered compassionate release more palatable than locking up Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in a Libyan prison.
The intervention, which has angered US relatives of those who died in the attack, was made by Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the US embassy in London, a week before Megrahi was freed in August last year on grounds that he had terminal cancer.
The document, acquired by a well-placed US source, threatens to undermine US President Barack Obama’s claim last week that all Americans were “surprised, disappointed and angry” to learn of Megrahi’s release.
Scottish ministers viewed the level of US resistance to compassionate release as “half-hearted” and a sign it would be accepted.
The US has tried to keep the letter secret, refusing to give permission to the Scottish authorities to publish it on the grounds it would prevent future “frank and open communications” with other governments.
In the letter, sent on August 12 last year to Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and justice officials, Mr LeBaron wrote that the US wanted Megrahi to remain imprisoned in view of the nature of the crime.
The note added: “Nevertheless, if Scottish authorities come to the conclusion that Megrahi must be released from Scottish custody, the US position is that conditional release on compassionate grounds would be a far preferable alternative to prisoner transfer, which we strongly oppose.”
via White House backed release of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi | The Australian.