A representative of Libya’s National Transitional Council has said the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing will not be extradited to serve out the rest of his sentence.
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was freed on compassionate grounds two years ago because he has cancer and doctors in Scotland where he was in prison said he did not have long to live.
“We will not be handing any Libyan citizen over to the West, especially Abdelbaset al-Megrahi who has already been found guilty once. A person cannot be tried twice for the same crime. These demands from the US and NGOs make no sense,” the acting justice minister told euronews.
There is no suggestion that al-Megrahi would be put on trial again. Scottish authorities have said only that they want to re-establish contact with him. Under the terms of his release he has to keep them informed at all times as to where he is.
A US TV reporter has seen al-Megrahiin Tripoli and said he appears “at death’s door”.
Meanwhile on Tripoli’s streets, chaos reigns. No one can be sure who controls the large stockpiles of weapons that have built up in the main centres of conflict.
The main objective is to take them out of circulation.
“We will be broadcasting appeals, via the local councils, especially in Tripoli, for all citizens, but particularly young people, to hand in their weapons. Several options are available, including us buying them,” said the acting deputy defence minister in Tripoli.
One fear is that Gaddafi will use the weapons to make a last stand. But there is also concern that the arms – thought to include chemical agents and nuclear raw materials – could be smuggled out of Libya and sold to militant groups.