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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Was it right to free al Megrahi?

August 20th, 2010
10:30 AM ET
Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the man convicted of the Pan Am 103 bombing 1988  boards a plane in  Scotland to make his final trip home Libya,  Thursday August 20,  2009.

Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the man convicted of the Pan Am 103 bombing 1988 boards a plane in Scotland to make his final trip home Libya, Thursday August 20, 2009.

Abdel Baset al Megrahi is the only person convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

In 2001 a special Scottish court in the Netherlands ordered al Megrahi to serve 27 years in jail, but one year ago today Scotland's government freed him because he’s suffering from prostate cancer and was apparently in the last months of his life.

The British government urged Libya on Friday not to celebrate the anniversary of the convicted Lockerbie bomber's release, saying it would be "offensive and deeply insensitive to the victims' families." Last year at this time, al Megrahi returned to Libya greeted by celebrating crowds.

Tonight on Connect the World we look at the effects this story has had from Scotland to the U.S. to England and Libya, and we ask you: Was it right to free al Megrahi? Should society allow convicts to go free at the end if they suffer illnesses? Does the fact al Megrahi is still alive change your opinion from what when he was freed last year?

Leave us all your thoughts on this subject in our comments section below and we'll feature some of them on tonight's program.

soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. chris

    Ive just read he is getting really good high end treatment for his cancer.

    forgive me for asking but if a prisoner is freed due to a terminal illness and then gets treatment for the same illness shouldn't that raise alarm bell? after all if he is cured then surly he has got off scot free.

    to tell the truth I think that terrorists and mass murderers should not be allowed to go free. regardless of state of body or mind.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:14 am | Reply
  2. MaryJane

    Well before this gets under way – it was a Scottish decision and the Scottish legal system is none of the US's business. 60% of Guardian readers (that is, a British newspaper) believe it was the right choice. I'm sure the numbers here will be much lower.
    For the record, no one familiar with the intricate details of the case thinks he's guilty. Nonetheless, even if he is, Scottish law – unlike the US – does not bow to political pressure.
    Also, the hypocrisy of the US is sickening. When you shot down an Iran Airline plane in the Gulf, killing over 300+, the Captain got a medal.
    I understand that a country which executes people may not understand "compassionate release" but surely the US of all countries understands the notion of state sovereignty. In other words, stfu.

    August 20, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  3. audrey phillips

    I am disgusted that he was released and that hreewill be a celebration oday fro his aniversary. as somene whow as extradited to the U.S,wrongfully,imprisonmed awaiting trial whichI subsequently won bcause I was proven innocent ,I am very angry that this man received hte comapssion and acolades htat he did when I was basicaly abandoned by my government,except orf the support of my local MP,rarnk Fielda nd thankG od for him. this man is a terrorist.I have medical problems and disabilities ,asd oes Gary McKinnon . what about us? nomoney?

    August 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Reply
  4. Brian

    Releasing this guy may very well have been the dumbest act ever taken by a political hack in a free country. "Compassionate grounds" for a guy who murdered a planeload of innocent people? It's amazing to me that he got 27 years for a mass murder but that's the Scottish legal system I guess. He should have served the entire 27 year sentence and not a day less. The fact that he has outlived doctor's expectations is not relevant to me-if he lived only a week after he was released I would feel the same way. He deprived all those families of their fathers, mothers, children. Then Libya treats him like a hero when he is released. I hope the person responsible for his release is proud of their actions. Wonder if the result would have been different is that person had a relative on the plane?

    August 20, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  5. Charlotte R.

    He shouldn't have been freed. It is extremely difficult to be even remotely close to predicting life expectancy, especially when you have someone who wants to live. I am still flabbergasted by the decision. To free a mass murderer and terrorist on 'humanitarian grounds' is a complete travesty. He was ordered to spend 27 years in prison, which should mean 27 years in prison, regardless of health. How many people does someone have to have a hand in killing before a life sentence (effectively) means 'life'?

    August 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  6. Herbert

    Shameful that a civilised society still has to ask this question. Don't you know that justice without mercy is cruelty?

    August 20, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  7. Pete

    You lot keep forgetting that is was Scotland who released him not the British Government, what's so hard to understand about the UK nolonger being joined. Wales is it's own country so is Scotland so is england.
    And to be honest NOONE REALLY GIVES A DAMN WHAT YOU LOT THINK ANYMORE!!!!!

    And if you lot say he was released because of some sort of deal ,[yeah you lot are really innocent in this respect.]

    Pete England

    August 20, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  8. Larry Larsen

    Every thing being equal, he can not be charge again. God knowns why he is still alive afther the doctor`s findings. We put every thing in the hands of god. 278 persons lost their life. Nothing goes for nothing.

    August 20, 2010 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  9. dswami

    It was wrong. I think it was British government deal for concessions from Libya. They did it for BP. The credibility of the Brits is at a new low nowadays. No it was not right, the decent would have been is to have executed that scumbag but then you Western liberals care more for the perpetrator than the victims. That is the same as during 911 and the London bombings. For the thousand dead no executions thus far. You guys are hilariously incompetent.

    August 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  10. dswami

    It was wrong. I think it was a British government deal for concessions from Libya. They did it for BP, hey for the money! The credibility of the Brits is at a new low nowadays. No it was not right, the decent would have been is to have executed that scumbag but then you Western liberals care more for the perpetrator than the victims. That is the same as during 911 and the London bombings. For the thousands dead no executions thus far. You guys are hilariously incompetent. It was very wrong to let him go. He should have died lonely and cold in a cell, with no loved ones around him but sadistic guards. That would have been justice, yeah not forgetting great suffering.

    August 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  11. Somers

    Absolutely NOT!!!! He intentionally put a bomb on an aircraft filled with innocent people murdering all of them along with number of innocent people on the ground. Shame!!! Those who let him go should now feel just as guilty. He was tried, found guilty, and convicted in a court of law – yet the people who freed him gave that no care. Those lives were lost in vain as thier killer is free and celebrated as a hero. Shame!!!!!

    August 20, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  12. Sam from London

    I absolutely believe that al Megrahi should have been released. Showing mercy towards the unmerciful is what separates us from them. The fact that He has been released is a display of humanity and an example that should be followed by all countries. It is one of the few things that makes me ever so slightly patriotic. The US's insistence on his imprisonment and deportation is another example of America's society of vengeance.

    August 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  13. Alex

    Yes it was right to release him. If what the relatives of the victims wanted was revenge, they should have rejected the financial compensation they received and asked for Megrahi's blood instead. They took the money, why does America still demand his blood?

    August 20, 2010 at 1:43 pm | Reply
  14. GypsyKingAdventures

    Yes, of course he should be free.
    And I think he should make a special trip to Lockerbie, Scotland and personally plant the first shovel of dirt in celebration of the new 13 story 'cultural center' being built in the middle of downtown Lockerbie.
    That is the only true way to show the tolerance and joy we all feel for all religions around the globe, especially the Muslim religion.

    August 20, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  15. Lee M. Warren

    Let him rot in jail and die like the swine that he is. Who cares if he has any kind of cancer, he did not care about one member of that flight. I would love to see him die in prison and then buried in a pig slop.

    August 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  16. S.T. Walker

    It was absolutely not right to free al Megrahi irrespective of his having prostate cancer or any other cancers or illnesses. The fact that he is still alive makes no difference. He should have served out his sentence which is rather light considering how many people he killed. When he murdered one of my closest girlfriend who was only 39 years old at the time, did have a single thought of sympathy for all those lives he just snuffed out? Why should we feel any compassion for such a monster?

    August 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  17. Andrew

    If the man was terminal 2 years after the attack would he be given this kind of treatment? Why do we give preferential treatment to the elderly? Did he even apologize? He is looked at as a hero still in some places...but should be treated as a villain until he at least makes a public apology,

    August 20, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  18. Peter

    The injustices of this happened long before his release. They begin in 2001, when a pseudo, let's please the leftist world, farce of a court, hands this TERRORIST a 25 year sentence – he still has rights... That, to me, is the more insulting part of this whole thing.

    Wish we were back in the days of Alexander the Norsemen. He knew how to handle this.

    TOP TEN LIST OF WHY WE SHOULD ALL BE SCARED:

    10. LIBYA
    09. CUBA
    08. N. KOREA
    07. SUDAN
    06. LEBANON
    05. ISRAEL
    04. INDIA
    03. IRAQ
    02. AFGHANISTAN
    01. PAKISTAN

    What have we become? The hate, resentment, jealousy over material things, greed.

    GOD BLESS MY GREAT GRAND KIDS. I wouldn't want to be here. Pity for them. We will have left nothing.

    August 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  19. christiaan

    Given the fact that this man after his dead will have to go through the sufferings himself he has caused to other people, we can be aware there is no escape in no way in 'facing' the consequences of his actions.
    Even the fact that other low aware people celebrate his existence and actions will not change this. We in fact should pray God will have mercy on him he will need this.

    August 20, 2010 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  20. Muhammad

    He was convicted by a kangaroo court.

    Where is the trial for Blair and Bush for slaughtering millions in Iraq and Afghanistan and why aren’t these not behind bars?

    Muhammad

    August 20, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  21. Paddy

    What if he's innocent? Worse still; What if he was executed and then found to be innocent?

    Those currently baying for retribution will be utterly SHAMED but I bet not one will stand up and say "I was wrong". The blood of that innocent man would have been on your hands as sure as if you were holding the blade yourself.

    Personally, I am delighted that he was released because he was a scapegoat, and one day you Americans will realise that the real murderer got away with it.

    You are so blinded by vengeance that you cannot see the real perpetrator walking off into the sunset. HE is laughing at you but you're so wrapped up in Old Testament rage, vitriol and hatred you've totally missed him.

    I'm an Irishman living in England. The Scots are a proud, honest and honorable race and I love them dearly. I'm so disappointed in the aggressive and destructive American response to this situation.

    Paddy

    August 20, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  22. Quezz

    I'm not sure it really matters whether al Megrahi was returned or not. He served quite a lot of time in prison, and now is living the last years of his life in pain. He hasn't harmed anyone else, and it is highly unlikely he is going to. The families of the victims of the Lockerbie attack understandably feel he "got off," but his release or continued incarceration will not bring them back. There is a point where we must all move on.

    August 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  23. Curtis

    While your at it Give a Pardon to Hitler, Stalin, and every other mass murder in history. Too bad he didnt get tried in the USA

    August 20, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  24. Llama

    I would have been fine with them freeing him, but they should have planted a bomb on the plane. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

    August 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  25. Pete

    Try reading the court transcripts and look through the so called evidence against him, you will find it pathetic at best.
    The word scapegoat is all you hear But this minor detail really doesn't matter to you does it.

    August 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  26. D

    No. He should have been executed years ago, not set free. He did not let HIS victims "go".

    August 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  27. Carlos Marin

    MaryJane, you are mistaken in your belief that the fact that 'the Scottish legal system is none of the US's business' implies that people do not have a right to have and publicly express their opinion on this matter. I am also offended by your concise but eloquent choice of words – 'stfu'. My own opinion (that given the fact that I live in Mexico you probably feel you have no right to criticize) is that the appropriate treatment for this scumbag would have been to slowly torture him to death.

    August 20, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  28. David

    There should be no fuss about Al Megrahi's release. He was set free on compassionate grounds by a Scottish government minister under the Scottish legal system. This is how the law works in Scotland and as a Scotsman I am pleased to say I have respect for our government and respect and even fondness for our legal system which has developed over the centuries. Representatives of other countries should know better than to criticize the decision.

    August 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  29. Kaddafi Delenda Est

    The irony (clearly lost on Scotland) is that Kaddafi was the IRA. Kaddafi financed, supported, directed, trained and armed the IRA for decades. They were among his favorite Marxist hired goons.

    Up to 6,000 innocents were killed or injured with Libyan supplied guns and explosives. And many IRA bombs employed the same Semtex that sent what was left of Clipper Maid of the Seas crashing into Christmas dinner tables in tiny Lockerbie (incinerating 11 Scots on the ground). Kaddafi has accepted liability and responsibility for both IRA terrorism AND Lockerbie terrorism– along with many other mass murders of innocents orchestrated by his terror-state.

    Kaddafi’s IRA proxies might still be in business if not for the tireless efforts of the Victims of Pan Am 103 to sanction and isolate Libya. But (apparently) no good deed goes unpunished– at least among the cheap Scotch-adled SNP brains of Kenny MacAskill fans.

    IRA and Lockerbie bombing victims properly hold Kaddafi responsible for his bloody atrocities. They can no longer afford to ignore the kabuki theatre of Libyan state-sponsored terrorism.

    Guilt riddled Scottish clergy can blame America for our (alleged) "culture of vengeance" all they want– meanwhile the jihadists continue their demographic conquest of your quaint little island. Good luck with that, Quislings.

    August 20, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  30. Kaddafi Delenda Est

    Quislings don’t confront real evil; and hate those who do. You can see this on almost any school playground. The kid who confronts the school bully is often resented more than the bully. Whether out of guilt over their own cowardice or out of fear that the one who confronted the bully will provoke the bully to lash out more, those who refuse to confront the bully often resent the one who does.

    Today, Euro-Quislings express that cowardly contempt for those of us who take a hard line with Qaddafi. It’s ever our fault (you see) for provoking the bully. Better to remain supine while Q satisfies himself prison-raping EU nurses; tormenting American widows and orphans; parading his murderous henchmen triumphantly.

    The Quisling answer: Just display some false “compassion”, stay quiet, and hope the crocs eat you last.

    There’s a word for that: Qowardice.

    Own it, Euro-Quislings.

    August 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  31. Jon

    It's not right that they released him and after he's dead I hope he rots in hell.

    August 20, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  32. Matthew 23:24

    "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."
    [James 1:27]

    =====
    What of the widows and orphans left in Megrahi's wake? How does Christ's New Covenant reconcile their agony for justice with Cardinal Quisling's magesterial slander (in defense of MacAskill's oily 'quid pro quo') of our "culture of vengeance"?

    Susan Cohen, 72, of New Jersey, who lost her daughter Theodora, 20, hit out at Cardinal O'Brien. She said: "His comments are self-serving and dishonest from someone who is out of touch with reality. It is a slimy and low blow to attack the United States and a really cruel thing to say to Americans who lost relatives."

    Mary Kay Stratis, 62, also of New Jersey who lost her 43-year-old husband Elia, added: "The Cardinal has been thoughtless. Megrahi was given compassion when his family were allowed to see him... Where is the compassion for the families of the victims?"
    =====

    "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!"
    [Matthew 18:6-7]

    "Ye blind guides, that strain out the gnat, and swallow the camel!" [Matthew 23:24]

    August 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  33. Matthew 23:24

    [MaryJane spat: "stfu"]

    MJl seems to be addressing this matter from an extraordinarily angry posture. May readers surmise that MJ has more than a casual affinity for Cardinal "culture-of-vengeance" O'Brien and Kenny "compassionate" MacAskill?

    May victims families question how many BP shares are owned by MacAskill, O'Brien, Salmond, et.al.? And also surmise that MJ (and her apologetic ilk in Scotland) have more than a casual interest in BP?

    Why does MJ presume to explain and justify a Scottish Cardinal– who sneered about a "culture of vengeance" at Americans with a most sacred connection to Lockerbie?

    Susan Cohen, 72, of New Jersey, who lost her daughter Theodora, 20, hit out at Cardinal O'Brien. She said: "His comments are self-serving and dishonest from someone who is out of touch with reality. It is a slimy and low blow to attack the United States and a really cruel thing to say to Americans who lost relatives."

    Mary Kay Stratis, 62, also of New Jersey who lost her 43-year-old husband Elia , added: "The Cardinal has been thoughtless. Megrahi was given compassion when his family were allowed to see him."

    Don't be an apologist for Cardinal Quisling your whole life, MJ..

    August 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  34. Khooghiata

    Allah Akbar! Mohmed al Megrahi, peace be upon him, will someday be remebered with a mosque in Scotland built where he was in prisoned

    August 20, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  35. Suusi

    Given the fact that Abdel Baset al Megrahi would have been freed when his appeal went through, because the evidence was faked by the CIA.

    The US senators should be grateful that they are not facing a far more embarrassing question, that is How come the case against Abdel Baset al Megrahi collapsed because the CIA faked the evidence against him.

    Get that into your think American skulls. Your politicians lie to you, all the time, and only a total fool believes them.

    The USA is the land of organised criminals.

    August 20, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  36. KJ

    I don't even know what to think about this. If he can live with the fact that he has killed 200+ people, then good for him. How exactly does his freedom symbolize humanity and compassion? I don't exactly I want him to die but I wanted him to be made an example of and kept in prison where people like him belong.

    August 20, 2010 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  37. Ally

    As a Scot I have to say that I am appalled he was released on compassion grounds. He's still been convicted of the crimes and any celibration on the anniversary of his release is in very bad taste.

    My view is that the Scottish / UK Governments took one look at the evidence that was collated for his appeal hearing and decided it couldnt be made public.
    Much easier to use the convenience of his illness as a reason to get him out the way than to bring out the truth. I'm not saying he didnt do it – I dont know. But I think there was more to the evidence, the way it was gathered and the trial process than theyre letting on.

    Any backlash from his compassionate release is tiny compared to what they would have had to go through if the truth came out.

    August 20, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  38. Rick

    Maybe the better plan is if this guy is still alive on the anniversary next year we should throw British Prime Minister David Cameron, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and the top prision doctor Dr. Andrew Fraser in to serve the remaining 27 years x 281 people (270 on the flight + 11 on the ground). Make these people who are accountable for his release serve the remaining time ... what a deal !!!

    August 20, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  39. herman

    Its a sad story for a terrorist to be released, but this is one story we can describe as ' Crying for already spilt milk' Reason being there is nothing the US or the UK can do to get this guy back to jail.

    August 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  40. greg

    The only way in my opinion this release should have gone on is with this concession. He woud have to go and see every familiy member of the murdered victims to gain their permission and forgiveness. Personally if the first family member who saw him shot him down then in my opinion justice would finally be served. If the evidence was clear that he was involved then he should recieve whatever medical care in jail to make him comfortable until he is gone. He certainly should not go home to a ticker tape parade. On that same note why are people so hateful towards people they have never met that they cheer their murderer as a hero? This world has always been strange but it is now surreal. All you need anymore is a health problem and even a murderer can say please let me have what my victims were never offered and the courts say OK!

    August 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  41. Eduardo Mizrahi

    Understanding that placing this guy in prission as a vindicative issue is parcial. Human society is imperfect.Part of its imperfections is these kind of crimes. Therefore, not punishing them opens doors to other sociopats that contrary to civilized people, their only deter is to know they will remain in a cage the rest of their lives. This guy should have been left in prission for the rest of his life for human reasons. These human reasons reffer to our imperfection and our need to deter sociopats, not mattering us in what kind of problem they fall. I am sure that now in Libya many people not only aplause this guys wrongdoings, but keeps hating the west and gives a damn for human civilized western behavior.

    August 20, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  42. martin saliba. Malta

    Why was he realesed right before he was going to appeal, with new evidence as i can understand ? Someone had something to hide. I feel that the goverment of Malta should have objected to his release so that the appeal would go through and my contrys name would have been cleared. The identification of megrahi by the shop keeper , after about 2 or 3 years and god knows how many millions of dollars , is very dubiuos to say the least.

    August 20, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  43. DW

    The guy took the fall for a team of people that put this together and only he did some time. The investigation did not go far enough to find out the whole truth and identify the chain of command. Letting this guy leave prison with cancer is really a mute point.

    August 20, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Reply
  44. DW

    And a comment to Chris, the poor guy is not getting high end cancer treatment, not if he is still in Libya...

    August 20, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  45. Tim

    Members of the UK Household Cavalry were killed in both the 1st and 2nd Gulf Wars by the USAF. American authorities refused to co-operate at either of the Inquests held in the UK to deternine the circumstances of the deaths and who wae responsible. In similar circumstances, RAF pilots would have been charged witrh negligence at the very minimum.

    If the USA wishes for accountabilty from the UK for it's actions, they should first co-operate with our legal system when they kill our servicemen and refuse to accept responsibility for thier actions.

    August 20, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  46. Jim Bowen

    This is the power of oil, it is oil and political correctness that the islamists will use to conquer the west.

    August 20, 2010 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  47. Longshanks

    Another case of rampant American hypocrisy! Without doubt, the Scots shouldn't have released him, but then again, let's take a while to consider the prolific acts of stupidity by the US government. Hmmm... giving credence to the IRA to raise funds in support of the murder of over 3000 British civilians; track record in regime change around the globe to aid American economic interests; consumption of over 24% of the earth's resources despite having only 5% of the population, and therefore polluting our air, water, earth. And before anyone quotes BP, what about Piper Alpha (167 deaths)?

    August 20, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  48. Kristian

    It was all right to free him, although perhaps not for medical reasons, but because this suspect is likely not the one that was responsible for the killing. Initially Iran was in the picture for being the most likely suspect behind the bombing of the airplane, but for political reasons (oil, what else) the role of Iran was not to be investigated further and Libya was set to be a target for investigation by the US.
    There was no conclusive evidence for Libya's involvement in this but the evidence was manipulated (where else did we see this..) so that the public was led to believe that Libya was responsible for this crime. There has been a documentary about this so-called evidence the US has fabricated. This documentary (I can't recall its name nor the journalist) was also shown to some of the relatives and they were also sceptical about the official version of the bombing.

    August 20, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  49. Vidhan

    Injustice delivered in this case.... but an eye for an eye system will make the whole word blind

    August 20, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  50. Peter

    Well he (Abdel Baset al Megrahi) already looked cured when he stepped down last year in Libya.
    But why was his accomplice acquitted ?

    Here's the truth.
    Both had no doing in Lockerbie.

    It is a fact that this was done by Iran, retaliating the gunning down of flight IR655

    Khadaffi just stepped in. Securing oil for all of us….

    I could go one about relations between US-Iraq-Iran but you figure it out yourself, It is not that hard….

    August 20, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  51. rogerpaul

    If the US is so worried about him prosecute the captain of the USS Vicennes who shot down an Iranian earlier. If you read about the case, it is much more likely that the Iranians, rather than the Libyans, and especially this guy, brought the plane down. Just shows that it does not do well to tangle with Iran.

    August 20, 2010 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  52. Rea

    This man may have been responsible for the murder of those people, some people debate that. The fact that he was released for what ever reason is no different to the release of hundreds of IRA terrorists as part of the Good Friday peace agreement. Those people had bombed and murdered 100s of people for years but it was seen as a necessary, if terrible, decision to have to make. The IRA bombed my city, I grew up hearing parents say we couldnt go into town for fear of bombs. Should we demand they all die in prison, should we demand answers from some of the people who helped to fund them in the same way th USA want answers from the Scottish government and BP? That might open a can of worms the USA would rather keep shut.

    August 20, 2010 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  53. Wim

    It was right to let him go, because we are better people than he is.

    August 20, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  54. Medhat

    Do you really believe that he was released on compassionate grounds, I think there is more than what meets the eye, we are not that naive, someone made a fortune out of , it is simply too fishy,,,,

    August 20, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  55. Judge Roy Bean

    BBC: "US calls for Lockerbie bomber to return to jail"

    Hahahhaaahhhhaaaahahaa! *phew* Oh yeah, I can see him waking up tomorrow and saying to Libyan officials, "yaknow, I should go back to jail for what I did." as they nod in agreement. ROFLMAO!

    Here's a thought: Let the idiots who released him take his place.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:37 pm | Reply
  56. Adriano Galang

    The man is back home recuperating after serving a portion of his jail term. All the victims relatives and love ones have been compensated by the Libyan government I guess. Though its hard to accept the truth, it's done. Let us move on and let it be.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  57. Colin

    I am torn. Yes I think he should have been released, but I also think that he should have stayed in prison until his appeal had been completed. Either way, he would be out of prison right now, since it was almost certain that his appeal would have acquitted him and released him. The vast majority of Scots know this and a poll of the Scottish legal profession (of which I am a part) found that 86% of Scottish lawyers believed that he would have been acquitted.

    That is the only sad thing, that most likely the Scottish government freed him to avoid being in the news for a miscarriage of justice, that way they could free him (the eventual outcome anyway) without the bad press for the Scottish legal system. As we know, the vast majority of compassionate released in Scotland are granted, so this case is no different. Although it would appear from this forum that there are many who would wish that justice not be equal for everyone.

    I, however, would not have seen an acquittal as an embarassment for the Scottish legal system, I would have seen it as a triumph. It would have been an embarassment for America, who were involved in this case from the start. It was they who managed to get a murder trial that had no jury (the first in over 300 years of Scots law). It was they who paid the chief prosecution witness over $1,000,000 to give testimony – something that would never have been allowed in a Scottish court due to conflict of interest. It was they who made sure that the trial took place in the Netherlands and not in Scotland so that it did not fall under Scottish court rules (such as barring such witnesses and allowing a jury). The chief of Strathclyde police during the weekd after the plane crash noted that the American secret service who were crawling over the site (they had been allowed there by the British, NOT Scottish government) were acting in a way that was completely unbecomming of a Scottish murder investigation. But alas, the politics of the day won out over the great, ancient, unique and greatest criminal justice system in the world that is the Scottish legal system.

    The entire case should have been conducted in Scotland without ANY foreign involvement, be that American or Libyan right from the start. It would have avoided this current crisis and the current embarassment that America has over this issue.

    August 20, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Reply
  58. Jackblob

    Considering al Megrahi is not the Lockerbie bomber but a scapegoat to appease America, it's a shame that he spent even a single day in prison. Furthermore, the American administration knows he is not the Lockerbie bomber. Knowing all this, Obama would be content to see al Megrahi back in prison. So much for thinking Obama is for truth and justice.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Reply
  59. Ron Chisholm

    Did they free the man who was one of the great train robbers in the UK (Biggs) when he was ill, no they did not show any compassion till the last minute. It is clear the money, oil and politics was in force when the decision was made to free the killer of so many people. I ask the question, why as part of his release did they not make it conditional that he had to name his fellow bombers.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Reply
  60. TD

    Mary Jane...
    Looks like we need to take up a collection to send you on a one way ticket to Libya where you can hang out with your buddy Moammar. Why don't you go tell that garbage to the victims family members and see how long you last.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  61. fikimoro

    the western do many things for so many reasons.dont be surprised that the realease could be a form of arrangement that could be beneficial to the parties in quetion. the good life being enjoyed in most western world today didnt just come like that, some people paid the ultimate price for them and some are still suffering for them.its purely a bargain that is a top secret and known to only a few.its a crazy world

    August 20, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  62. Marc Belisle

    Why show compassion to the uncompassionate? That is simply encouraging others to follow suit. His release was a final slap in the face to those who died in the crash, their famillies as well as the justice system that tried him. The hero's welcome he received in Lybia confirms it was a terrible mistake to release that terrorist.

    August 20, 2010 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  63. Timmy

    How can anybody in their right mind agree with this? he is a criminal and a thug, the only place he deserves to be is in prison. the health of a person that has attacked his fellow man should be put on the bottom of the governments priority list.

    lock them up and throw away the key i say!

    August 21, 2010 at 12:43 am | Reply
  64. derek champfler

    Mass murderers should NEVER be freed. They should automatically be executed for their crimes with no chance for appeal. The huge ripples of misery they have inflicted cannot even be really fully fathomed by we, the living. Forget Hollywood–these are the real monsters, so consumed by fulfilling their own agenda that they have forfeited any connection to the rest of humanity. What Scotland did was unbelievably UNCONSCIONABLE. My sentiments are 100+% with victims of crime. This crime is in the category of the worst of the worst imaginable.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:14 am | Reply
  65. Macky Myers

    When the leading Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland publically denounces the U.S. with such statements like, "It's month by month now they are killing people who have a right to live whatever they've done wrong," I have to question one's reasons for compassion.

    One, where is the compassion directed at the families who lost loved in the Lockerbie bombing? (100 plus were U.S. citizens.)

    If Catholics demand an end to the death penalty on religious grounds and use the courts to push their ideas, I, personally, see a violation of the separation of church and state.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:23 am | Reply
  66. Amar

    The whole discussion revolves around how you define a Terrorist (the one who kills innocent people). then how do you define deaths of civilian's in War. you cannot take an excuse that in a combat situation anything can happen. a death is a death. a loss to a family is a loss irrespective to the situation it happened. Statistically speaking and without naming everybody in the world knows which country has killed more civilian's in the History of Mankind. So let's talk about that rather than singling out one case.

    August 21, 2010 at 1:34 am | Reply
  67. Graham

    All the comments here are interesing in that they all presume that he was guilty as charged and deserved to die in jail. However, at the time of the downing of the Pam Am flight there were many suspect states including Lebanon and Syria. The case against Megrahi was thin and relied heavily on the identification testomony of a store keeper in Malta. The US had jumped to the conclusion early on that Libya was to blame and therefore they could not allow the suspect Megrahi to be cleared and loose face. The US provided most of the evidence in the trial. Many people then and to this day believe that Syria was behind the attack but little proof has yet surfaced. Even some of the victims families are unsure of the verdict againt Megrahi, particlarly since another man on the same charge was cleared. You could argue that Libyas payments to the victims families is an admission of guilt, however, sanctions were badly effecting the country and paying the blood money was seen as a relatively cheap way out of the sanctions. He has Cancer and he is dieing, that is certain, as is the fact that he will die soon. Should he have been released? On balance I believe yes but I can understand the sentiments in the US where terrorism has inflicted the most horendous blow. In the US many prisoners are given long sentances and many die in jail. In the US execution is still commonplace whereas in Europe it is abolished. I would hope that in the next 100 years our world can learn a little more compassion along with how to efficiently kill each other which we do so well.

    August 21, 2010 at 2:40 am | Reply
  68. islander

    what's the difference between him and LUIS POSADA CARRILES ?
    you hipocrites.

    August 21, 2010 at 3:43 am | Reply
  69. Patrick

    In reply to dswami who says British credibility is at an all time low......take those blinkers of buddy and see what the rest of the world think fo American foreign policy! You will then see its not the British credibility at an all time low but somewhere a bit closer to home!

    August 21, 2010 at 5:07 am | Reply
  70. valwayne

    Stop with the concocted compassion story already. We all now know what happened. The British Government sold al-Megrahi, and justice for the familes of the murdered, to Libya in return for billions in oil and other business. They certainly had to have the approval of the Obama administration, and Obama's weak protests at the time pretty much confirm the deal. So they concocted the medical reports saying he would be dead in 3 months to give eveyone cover for that silly compassion story. That seemed too insane at the time to be true. It was! And remember that Gahdafi's son confirmed the sale when al-Megrahi first arrived in Libya. A lot of people in the British and U.S. Government should go to prison for this. None will!!!! But lets stop pretending we don't know what really happened!!!

    August 21, 2010 at 6:22 am | Reply
  71. Ron Camilleri

    Provided that the Scottish law is such, no one can indulge in their decision. They do not have to bow to Politics. Sometimes we think with our small minds, but live is in 'GOD'S HANDS' he is the only perfect judge. Sometimes we point our fingers to others but do not see the trunk in our own eyes. I am not so confinced that there was a fair trial in this case, as one pointed out that the bomb was loaded from Malta' Airport true Air Malta airlinesv which was not so.

    August 21, 2010 at 6:36 am | Reply
  72. Insan Mukmin

    Americans calling for Megrahi's death have forgotten why Libya carried out the Lockerbie bombing. It was in response to the US attack on Libya on April 15 1986 which killed the 15 month old daughter of Muammar Gaddafi, Hanna. So Americans think killing a 15 month old baby is ok ??

    August 21, 2010 at 6:47 am | Reply
  73. Nap de la Torre

    The gesture of the releasing authority for MR. Megrahi is more of a respect to terrorists than to hapless and innocent victims. Regardless of what malady a convicted terrorist may have sufferered makes no difference at all with those who are normally healthy. If this is the case on all convicted criminals, the penalty incurred by the law to punish them of their crimes is a Mickey Mouse law otherwise they should never be punished at all. Is it justice for Megrahi or the victims ? Of course only fools opt for the former.

    August 21, 2010 at 7:07 am | Reply
  74. WILLY CONDOM

    HINDSIGHT IS ALWAYS 20/20. IF IT APPEARED THAT HE WAS TERMINAL THEN THE DECISION WAS BASED ON THAT. NO, I DO NOT FEEL HE DESERVES COMPASSION BUT COST OF TREATMENT AND INCARCERATION MAY HAVE A LARGER NEGATIVE IMPACT ON THE SOCIETY INVOLVED THAN RELEASE.

    THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN THE WESTERN COUNTRIES HAS LITTLE TO DO WITH JUSTICE. ACCEPT THAT AND LOOK AT YOURSELF NOT SCOTLAND. REFORM YOUR OWN SYSTEM, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOOK TO OTHERS.

    August 21, 2010 at 7:18 am | Reply
  75. Tee

    I can only express my deepest contempt of anyone symphatizing with this slimey creep mr Megrahi.

    August 21, 2010 at 7:23 am | Reply
  76. US expat living in the UK

    While not an expert on the legal system in Scotland, I think it is justifiable for a country who had people die in a terrorist act to question that system. The Scottish system found al Megrahi guilty after a fair trial in the Netherlands. That system gave him 27 years in prison. Why would a country so emotionally-involved the case with citizens who died - NOT question that same system when it changes its mind? While none of the respondants may have the legal knowlege to appropriately agree or disagree with their actions, I think it is absolutely understandable and fair that the US question this decision. Why does the Scottish government not just answer those queries?

    August 21, 2010 at 7:51 am | Reply
  77. Saad

    I think Almegrahi was just an agent for Mr. Gadafi who is the real criminal for this huribale act of mass killing of humen people. AlMegrahi got the punishmnet in this live of what he deserve and may be now is suffering, if still has any feeling. He should get the real punishment after his death from God becasue the lifes of all those people killed can not be wasted and God care about each live. I am a muslem and if AlMegrahi convicted under the Islamic law, he would have be executed in public place long time ago and receive the same punishment he did for those people who was killed in the crash.

    August 21, 2010 at 7:52 am | Reply
  78. john from scotland

    I feel completely sorry for the people of the USA. When I read the way in which the news is presented to you I understand why a large proportion of you feel anger at the release of Mr Megrahi. However, I also feel anger that you have been denied the truth about a) the innocence / guilt of the man b) the real reasons for his release.

    Here in Scotland we have access (although the British Government would wish we didn't) to information that has been completely and utterly unrepoprted in your country. That is why numerous polls have shown that a huge majority of people in Scotland feel a) he is innocent and b) it was absolutely correct to free the man on compassionate grounds.

    Please believe me that there is evidence out there that has been deliberately kept from you.

    Your own people are deceiving you!

    August 21, 2010 at 8:15 am | Reply
  79. David

    Was it right to free al Megrahi?
    Why not do a story is it right to have jails?
    How stupid can you be

    August 21, 2010 at 8:26 am | Reply
  80. Dan Dan

    Who has been held to account for the hundreds of thousands of people killed by the bandits (americans) in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    August 21, 2010 at 10:58 am | Reply
  81. Reinaldo Costa

    In respect to victims´s relatives, he has to stay in jail. His freedom looks like a punch on face all of us. He must stay in jail with cancer or without cancer and die there.

    August 22, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  82. Woodforthetrees

    Yes, the release was wrong, very wrong. Why; bdel Baset al Megrahi was denied an appeal and the relatives and friends of the victims are now being denied the truth. It doesn't take a genius to scratch the surface of this story to realize there is something deeply flawed about this man's' conviction. It also doesn't take a genius to realize the average American is only concerned with sound bites, rhetoric, vengeance and finger pointing.

    August 23, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  83. john from scotland

    See newsnet scotland for a different version of events

    August 24, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  84. Rosalia da Garcia

    In my opinion it is so wrong to have released him. It sends the message that we pardon and condon such inhuman acts.

    I may sound cruel but just think of the hundred of innocent people who died because of his cruel act. If you have a message for the world or a specific country there are forums and ways to express it but not killing people. It is just inhuman.

    August 29, 2010 at 3:08 am | Reply
  85. ruffwood

    he should never have been released. Where was their compassion when they were bombing innocents?

    September 1, 2010 at 4:38 am | Reply
  86. Stracciatella italiana

    This was a independent decision by the Scottish justice system and it has to be respected. If expert medical opinions confirmed that the prisoner was entering a terminal phase, then it is only fair if the legal provisions in force allowing the prisoner's release are implemented. At any rate, one should always be careful before proceeding to quick comments. First, because judicial systems of democratic countries are human and expressly allow such decisions on the basis of age, health etc. Second, because the masquerade in the late 90s of the release of former Pres. Pinochet who was allegedly unable to stand from his bed during nearly one year until the plane landed safely in Santiago teaches that so called "advanced" countries are the first to violate the principles they advocate for other ones. If I am not mistaken, official UK positions reported in international news networks said they were "unapologetic" if oil contracts entered into with Libya had had an influence on the release of M. Megrahi. At any rate, unless someone has had a chance to examine M. Megrahi and deliver a medical diagnosis on this person's state of health, it is simply impossible to formulate a valid opinion on this case's merits.

    September 1, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  87. sophie

    i was just wondering, what is the evidence against megrahi? i'm doing my english talk on it and i cant find any websites that has any evidence on it. please return my comment. thanks
    🙂

    September 3, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Reply
  88. icons pack

    What interesting message

    October 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply

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