The Scottish government will reveal later today whether it will release Abdul Basset Al Megrahi – a Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.
Al Megrahi could be freed as part of a prisoner transfer deal or on compassionate grounds because he has terminal cancer. Releasing him will anger the US government who insist he should remain behind bars. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters:“I just think it is absolutely wrong to release someone who has been imprisoned based on the evidence about his involvement in such a horrendous crime.” The bombing of Pan-Am 103 in 1988 was the worst terrorist atrocity in Britain in recent times and killed 270 people on the ill-fated jet and on the ground. Whether Al Megrahi should be freed has split opinion among relatives. Many British families believe the evidence against him was not strong enough. And, since the bombing, questions have been raised about any Libyan involvement. Some experts believe suspicion should fall on Iran, seeking revenge after a US warship accidentally shot down an Iranian airliner five months before.