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WikiLeaks: UK Helped Lockerbie Bomber

From the UK’s Telegraph:

WikiLeaks: Britain secretly advised Libya how to secure release of Lockerbie bomber

Ministers secretly advised Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan regime how to secure the successful early release of the Lockerbie bomber, documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph have disclosed.

By Christopher Hope and Robert Winnett
31 Jan 2011

A Foreign Office minister sent Libyan officials detailed legal advice on how to use Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s cancer diagnosis to ensure he was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds.

The Duke of York is also said to have played a behind-the-scenes role in encouraging the terrorist’s release.

The Libyans closely followed the advice which led to the controversial release of Megrahi – who was convicted of the murder of 270 passengers on Pan Am Flight 103 – within months of the Foreign Office’s secret intervention.

The disclosure seriously undermines British Government claims that is was not complicit in the release of al-Megrahi, and that the decision to free the convicted terrorist was taken by the Scottish Executive alone….

Hence Great Britain’s nickname of ‘Perfidious Albion.’

The documents – obtained by the WikiLeaks website and passed to this newspaper – provide the first comprehensive picture of the often desperate steps taken by western Governments to court the Libyan regime in the competition for valuable trade and oil contracts…

It can now be disclosed that within a week of [Megrahi’s cancer] diagnosis, Bill Rammell, a junior Foreign Office minister, had written to his Libyan counterpart advising him on how this could be used as the grounds of securing al-Megrahi’s compassionate release from prison.

Rob Dixon, a senior Foreign Office official, met with the American Ambassador to brief him on the letter. An official American memo on the meeting states: “FCO Minister for the Middle East Bill Rammell sent Libyan Deputy FM Abdulati al-Obeidi a letter, which was cleared both by HMG and by the Scottish Executive, on October 17 outlining the procedure for obtaining compassionate release.

“It cites Section 3 of the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act of 1993 as the basis for release of prisoners, on license, on compassionate grounds. Although the Scottish Crown informed the families of the Pan Am 103 victims in an email October 21 that the time frame for compassionate release is normally three months from time of death, Dixon stressed to us that the three month time frame is not codified in the law.”

Later documents also disclose that the Qatari government, one of the richest in the world, also became involved in the effort to secure al-Megrahi’s release. The Americans thought that the Qataris may have offered financial incentives to the Scottish Government. The Libyans are also recorded to have offered a “parade of treats” to the Scottish government

After Megrahi was released in August 2009, another American document records Gaddafi’s comments – which suggest that Prince Andrew, the UK’s trade envoy, may have played a role.

The document records: “He [Gaddafi] went on to thank his ‘friend Brown’, the British Prime Minister, his government, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Andrew, who ‘against all odds encouraged this brave decision’. [Gaddafi] noted that the UK efforts would positively affect ‘exchange’ between the two countries

Of course, like with much of the so-called WikiLeaks revelations,  none of this is really news anymore.

But it is nevertheless quite unsettling to see it written out in black and white.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, February 1st, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “WikiLeaks: UK Helped Lockerbie Bomber”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Secrecy Begets Tyranny

  2. River0 says:

    Beyond contempt, disgusting moral degeneracy, and gross hypocrisy. This is the lowest level Great Britain has sunk to in its history; and it’s not just this. There are a hundred other betrayals.

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