The British government has condemned celebrations in Tripoli to mark the release and return of the Lockerbie bomber.
More than a thousand young Libyans gathered at an airport in the capital to welcome Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, who has been freed on humanitarian grounds as he is terminally ill with cancer. Large public gathered are rare and usually tightly controlled in Libya and.. Britain’s Foreign Minister, David Milliband believes how Libya conducts itself now will be significant in the way the world views its re-entry into the international community. His release has also been criticised by relatives of US victims, many of who say the sight of his welcoming was deeply distressing. Bert Ammerman, a brother of Lockerbie victim said: “We’ve just released a man convicted of massacring 270 people, we’ve given state-sponsored terrorism a victory, and the families have to watch all this and 20 years later, this is the last sad chapter in this odyssey.” The former Libyan agent is the only person convicted of bombing flight Pan Am 103 in 1988 and has spent a total of eight years in jail. While Megrahi’s release draws a line under an eight-year saga, the implications for British-Libyan relations may be seen for years to come.