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Barb E Dahl

A Further Sign Of Our Corrupt Government...?

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The only man convicted over the Lockerbie bombing is to be released and allowed to return to Libya on compassionate grounds because he is terminally ill, Scotland's justice minister said Thursday.

Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi 57 was serving a life sentence for bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, resulting in the deaths of 270 people.

The White House, which has urged Britain to keep al Megrahi behind bars, said it "deeply regrets" the decision.

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill told a news conference in Edinburgh the prisoner was "going home to die" and would be released within an hour of the announcement shortly after 1200 GMT (8 a.m. ET).

"Our justice system demands that judgment be imposed but compassion available," MacAskill said. "Our beliefs dictate that justice be served but mercy be shown."

The Pan Am flight exploded December 21, 1988, as it flew over Scotland on its way from London to New York. All 259 people aboard the plane died, along with 11 Scots on the ground.

Families of the Lockerbie victims have been divided on whether al Megrahi should be ever be released.

The United States has made clear to the British government and others that it believes al Megrahi should spend the rest of his time in jail.

In a statement released shortly after Thursday's announcement, the White House said it "deeply regrets the decision".

"As we have expressed repeatedly to officials of the government of the United Kingdom and to Scottish authorities, we continue to believe that al Megrahi should serve out his sentence in Scotland," it said.

Al Megrahi was convicted in 2001 after the prosecution argued he had placed the bomb, hidden in a suitcase, on a flight from Malta to Frankfurt, Germany.

There, prosecutors said, the bomb was transferred onto the Pan Am plane that went first to London's Heathrow Airport and then took off for New York.

Another man -- Al-Amin Khalifa Fahima -- was also tried in the bombing but was acquitted.

The prosecution said that al Megrahi, who worked at Malta's Luqa Airport, was an agent for the Libyan intelligence services and had been seen buying clothes that were in the suitcase that contained the bomb.

Libya has formally accepted responsibility for the bombing and has compensated the families, though Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi later denied any culpability.

A Scottish court ruled in 2003 that al Megrahi must serve at least 27 years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Al Megrahi first appealed the conviction in 2002 and lost.

Edited by Borden Grown

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I would expect to see in a few months time. UK signs big deal with Libya for cheap natural gas for the winter. Then Gordon Brown tells Engery companies to pass on savings to hard pressed working families from the great deal the great leader personally negotiated with Libya.

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If he did it, then I'm Jack the Ripper

read Paul Foot's investigation into the saga - it was an Iranian backed operation in revenge for a U.S. ship (Vincennes) downing an iranian airliner in the gulf.

The corruption was the cosy deal whereby Libya took the blame in exchange for sanctions against the, being lifted. Do you think they'd really do something like lockerbie after getting the crap bombed out of them for the berlin discotheque bombings?

I know someone who lost his sister on the flight, and a guy in my office is from lockerbie and remembers it well. Neither of them think the guy in jail did it, he's a patsy, and neither they nor me are in any way tin-foil hatters.

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The man was convicted in a court of law of being responsible for the deaths of 270 people.

Regardless of whether or not he was really responsible, it's the principle of the matter, that the government let out a man who supposedly killed 270 people on compassionate grounds!

The government is a joke!

To me this proves they are corrupt and make up their own rules as they go along.

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Guest happy?
The man was convicted in a court of law of being responsible for the deaths of 270 people.

Regardless of whether or not he was really responsible, it's the principle of the matter, that the government let out a man who supposedly killed 270 people on compassionate grounds!

The government is a joke!

To me this proves they are corrupt and make up their own rules as they go along.

Clearly you have a very different understanding of the word corrupt than most people. But then given that you'd rather Magrahi stayed in prision "regardless of whether or not he was responsible" one shouldn't be surprised at your limited grasp of language either.

I see you at the head of a mob with flaming torches.

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You are missing my point entirely.

It has nothing to do with Magrahi. If he is innocent then yes he should be released. But he has been released NOT because he is innocent but rather because he has cancer and should spend his dying days with his family - a man who has been CONVICTED of murdering 270 people.

I'm sorry I think this world has gone crazy. There is absolutely no justification for freeing a man in this situation just because he has cancer.

There are things going on behind the scenes with this government. Let's just carry on and pretend we don't know shall we...

And happy? perhaps you should learn to read before you go criticising others!

Edited by Borden Grown

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You are missing my point entirely.

It has nothing to do with Magrahi. If he is innocent then yes he should be released. But he has been released NOT because he is innocent but rather because he has cancer and should spend his dying days with his family - a man who has been CONVICTED of murdering 270 people.

I'm sorry I think this world has gone crazy. There is absolutely no justification for freeing a man in this situation just because he has cancer.

There are things going on behind the scenes with this government. Let's just carry on and pretend we don't know shall we...

And happy? perhaps you should learn to read before you go criticising others!

Not missing the point at all - you casually use the word corrupt because you dislike the decision made by the Scottish government in Edinburgh and then cite this as evidence of 'corruption' by the London government.

If you dislike a government's policy - go ahead and criticise that policy - to make the base-less accusation that a government is corrupt because it releases a convicted criminal on compassionate grounds is nonsense on stilts.

To then accuse me of being illiterate because your argument is syllogistic is even more bizarre - but ad hominem attacks appear to be your stock in trade.

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Why all the anti UK govt s***e? It was a SCOTTISH court that released him. They have always had their own judiciary and since the creation of the Scottish parliament, they have devolved power to release hin or not.

Regardless of whether you 'think' he did it or not, he was guilty in a Scottish court (albeit in the Netherlands). The grounds for this were that he would serve his time in a UK prison.

If anything similar happens to U.S. citizens on UK soil, they will no longer want a trial to take place here. The Scottish will be seen worldwide now as 'soft.' I hope Salmon and his lot are proud of themselves.

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Why all the anti UK govt s***e? It was a SCOTTISH court that released him. They have always had their own judiciary and since the creation of the Scottish parliament, they have devolved power to release hin or not.

Regardless of whether you 'think' he did it or not, he was guilty in a Scottish court (albeit in the Netherlands). The grounds for this were that he would serve his time in a UK prison.

If anything similar happens to U.S. citizens on UK soil, they will no longer want a trial to take place here. The Scottish will be seen worldwide now as 'soft.' I hope Salmon and his lot are proud of themselves.

The original poster has his bigotry to peddle - the fact that it was an SNP minister who decided to release Al Megrahi is mere detail.

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Technically, everybody that is sentenced to life should die behind bars of some disease or other, away from their family and friends etc. Thats if, of course, life really means life..

Not quite sure where compassion should enter this equation, as the one sure thing is that everyone will die at some point. If that doesn't sit well with the judge and jury then don't give them a life sentence upon conviction.

This issue is a bit different as his guilt has always been doubted.

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He should have been executed when convicted for murdering 270 innocent people. All things like this will do is empower more radical Muslims to attack the UK as they see us as weak.

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He should have been executed when convicted for murdering 270 innocent people. All things like this will do is empower more radical Muslims to attack the UK as they see us as weak.

'Radical' Muslims don't need a reason to attack - that's why they do it.

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Guest Skinty
Maybe somebody should put the labour party in a 747 and blow it up above a Scottish village.

That's an evil thing to say. There are plenty of open spaces around here where you could safely blow up a 747 full of Labour party politicians.

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Guest Steve Cook
The man was convicted in a court of law of being responsible for the deaths of 270 people.

Regardless of whether or not he was really responsible, it's the principle of the matter, that the government let out a man who supposedly killed 270 people on compassionate grounds!

The government is a joke!

To me this proves they are corrupt and make up their own rules as they go along.

So, the "principle" of following the letter of the law even if it may well mean the continued incarceration of what many of the UK victim's relatives believe to be an innocent man is OK, is it?

You would do well in a certain kind of society.

The way things are going, you may well get that society........

Edited by Steve Cook

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Guest Steve Cook
He should have been executed when convicted for murdering 270 innocent people. All things like this will do is empower more radical Muslims to attack the UK as they see us as weak.

Given that there is and has been from the beginning, significant doubt over his conviction, do you really think the death penalty is a good idea?

Our English history is littered with cases of innocents going to the gallows. It's bad enough that some of them are locked up for several decades only to be released later with an apology.

Edited by Steve Cook

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If he did it, then I'm Jack the Ripper

read Paul Foot's investigation into the saga - it was an Iranian backed operation in revenge for a U.S. ship (Vincennes) downing an iranian airliner in the gulf.

The corruption was the cosy deal whereby Libya took the blame in exchange for sanctions against the, being lifted. Do you think they'd really do something like lockerbie after getting the crap bombed out of them for the berlin discotheque bombings?

I know someone who lost his sister on the flight, and a guy in my office is from lockerbie and remembers it well. Neither of them think the guy in jail did it, he's a patsy, and neither they nor me are in any way tin-foil hatters.

+1. And in any event, isn't it nice to see one government and one party sticking two fingers up to the USA instead of licking their a8se as Westminster always does?

And what difference morally is there between a terrorist murdering innocent passengers on a plane and the US government murdering innocent Pakisatanis by launching an unmanned drone at them? There won't be any trial for Obama, let alone jail time.

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Technically, everybody that is sentenced to life should die behind bars of some disease or other, away from their family and friends etc. Thats if, of course, life really means life..

Not quite sure where compassion should enter this equation, as the one sure thing is that everyone will die at some point. If that doesn't sit well with the judge and jury then don't give them a life sentence upon conviction.

This issue is a bit different as his guilt has always been doubted.

You clearly know nothing about how sentencing works under our system. Life doesn't mean life and never has. Means it's at the discretion of the parole board, usually once the minimum open-court sentence of X years has been served.

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I don't mind him being released... he's apparently dying of a fairly nasty disease, he's spent quite a few years behind bars.. serving more years behind bars serves no purpose either in terms of victim led sentencing or in terms of his own liklihood to re-offend.

I am doubly convinced by the release as it was never really convincing that it was him ( although that it was libya seems certain).... what was done was deal with gaddaffi when he realised the gloves were off post 911.. he stopped being silly, booted the terrorists out and became a good little oil exporter, in return we and the americans didn't bomb him back to the stoneage... along the way "giving up" the man or men responsible for the pan am bomb was part of the bargain.

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