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Liable to the Libyans
With the news that doctors were ‘encouraged’ by the Libyans to conclude that the Lockerbie bomber had only three months to live, and Jack Straw’s admission of using the prisoner to secure trade deals, the UK can no longer deny the obvious.
September 6, 2009 3:21 by Dana El Baltaji
“We wanted to bring it back into the fold. And yes, that included trade because trade is an essential part of it and subsequently there was the BP deal,” he added.
A spokesperson for Straw said the minister’s “position has been on the record for some days.”
“He has never denied that seeking an agreement with Libya over a Prisoner Transfer Agreement was connected to a wider process of normalizing relations with Libya, including on trade, which is in the interests of us all.”
He added: “The level of innuendo over this issue in the newspapers is absurd and offensive. It’s outrageous and far from the truth.”
At the heart of the saga, however, is a man dying of cancer, who insists he had nothing to do with the Lockerbie bombing. When he arrived in Libya almost three weeks ago, he was greeted by hundreds of well wishers, fueling widespread fury among Westerners over his release.
But the West has misinterpreted al-Megrahi’s welcome, explained Ali Aujali, the Libyan ambassador to Washington, in a commentary published in the Wall Street Journal titled Why Libya Welcomed Megrahi.
He wrote: “When Abdel Baset al-Megrahi landed in Tripoli following his release from Scotland last week, the world saw a single event in two very different ways. Through the prism of the Western media, Americans saw a terrorist being given a hero’s welcome by a country eager to celebrate mass murder. Libyans saw a dying man-believed to be innocent by his countrymen and many others world-wide-being embraced by his family.”