With Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi’s government suddenly in jeopardy in Libya, Senator Charles Schumer is once again calling for the return of Abdul Al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber who was granted compassionate release from a Scottish prison in 2009.
“Two years after an incorrect medical prognosis prompted his release from prison, the Lockerbie bomber is not only alive and well, but seems to have even outlived the Qaddafi regime,” Schumer said in the statement. “As a transitional government takes hold in Libya, it should seek to undo the injustice of al-Megrahi’s release by returning him to the jail cell where he belongs. A new Libya can send a strong statement to the world by declaring it will no longer be a haven for this convicted terrorist.”
When the rebel opposition first emerged in March, Schumer called on the group to prove its goodwill by agreeing to expedite al-Megrahi — following a similar call he made last September, with New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, when he suggested the convicted terrorist might have been bartered by the British government in return for favorable oil deals.
Schumer’s call comes amid a chaotic scene in Tripoli, where rebels are believed to be in control of most of the capital, but have yet to overtake the area around Qaddafi’s compound.
Update: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand just released her own statement:
“The release of al-Megrahi was a total miscarriage of justice. Seeing him participate in good health at a pro-Qaddafi rally recently was another slap in the face not just for the families of the Lockerbie victims, but for all Americans and all nations of the world who are committed to bringing terrorists to justice. The transitional government should immediately seek justice and hold this terrorist accountable by sending him back to prison. If we’re ever going to win the fight against international terrorism, the rule of law must hold strong.”