Victims' Relatives Anger over Lockerbie Bomber Release

World | August 21, 2009, Friday // 08:17|  views

US President Obama said Megrahi's release, eight years into his life sentence, was "a mistake". Photo by BGNES

Relatives of those who died in the bombing of a US plane over Lockerbie voiced anger as the man convicted of the attack was welcomed home in Libya.

Crowds in Tripoli greeted Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, after he was freed from prison on compassionate grounds, the BBC reported.

The son of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi called his release a courageous step by Scotland and Britain.

However, there was angry reaction from families of those killed in the bombing and from US President Barack Obama.

Most of the 270 people who died when Pan Am Flight 103 blew up over Lockerbie in 1988 were Americans.

Obama said Megrahi's release, eight years into his life sentence, was "a mistake".

He added that his administration had told the Libyan government that Megrahi, who has terminal cancer, should not receive a hero's welcome and should be placed under house arrest.

Hundreds of people, nonetheless, turned out to meet Megrahi's plane as it landed in Tripoli, many waving flags.

In 2001, Al Megrahi received a life sentence for the Lockebie Bombing - the blowing up of a Boeing 747 of Pan Am over the town of Lockerbie in Scotland, in which a total of 270 people perished, including 11 Lockerbie residents, and 189 US citizens.

Al Megrahi has terminal prostate cancer. He has been serving his life sentence in the Greenock Prison in Scotland. After serving 8 years, the 57-year-old man is returning as a free man to see his family.


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Tags: Lockerbie, Lockerbie bombing, Scotland, Libya, Al Megrahi, plane crash, terrorist attack


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