White House backed released of Lockerbie bomber
THE US government secretly advised Scottish ministers it would be "far preferable" to free the Lockerbie bomber than jail him in Libya.It appears the Obama team was being poorly represented at best, if this is true. At worst it appears Obama has been disingenuous in his comments about the release which angered so many Americans.
Correspondence obtained by The Sunday Times reveals the Obama administration considered compassionate release more palatable than locking up Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in a Libyan prison.
The intervention, which has angered US relatives of those who died in the attack, was made by Richard LeBaron, deputy head of the US embassy in London, a week before Megrahi was freed in August last year on grounds that he had terminal cancer.
The document, acquired by a well-placed US source, threatens to undermine US President Barack Obama's claim last week that all Americans were "surprised, disappointed and angry" to learn of Megrahi's release.
Scottish ministers viewed the level of US resistance to compassionate release as "half-hearted" and a sign it would be accepted.