UK report: Previous gov't backed Lockerbie bomber's release

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 8, 2011 02:47

LONDON — Britain's previous government did "all it could" to help Libya win the release of the only man convicted of the Pan Am airliner bombing over Scotland in 1988, though it insisted the decision was made entirely by Scottish officials, Britain's head of civil service said Monday.

However, Sir Gus O'Donnell, the leader of the Cabinet Office, also said he found no evidence that the central government had put any pressure on Scottish authorities to grant the release.

Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only man convicted in the terrorist attack, was granted a compassionate release from a Scottish prison in August 2009 on the grounds that he was suffering from prostate cancer and would die soon.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, leader of the British coalition government that took power in May, asked O'Donnell to conduct the review. Cameron has strongly criticized al-Megrahi's release in the past.


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