In a recent letter FBI head Robert Mueller brutally attacked the Scottish government and Secretary of Justice Kenny MacAskill over the recent release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the man widely known as the Lockerbie bomber.
Mueller described the decision as “detrimental to the cause of justice” and that the decision to release Megrahi on grounds of compassion because the 57-year-old is suffering from terminal prostate cancer is a “mockery of the emotions, passions and pathos of all those affected by the Lockerbie tragedy.”
Mueller makes it clear in his August 21 letter that he, in the past, has “made it a practice not to comment on the actions of other prosecutors.” He goes on to say that the release of Megrahi is so unbelievably unjustified that he could not stand idly by without commenting and giving his opinion.
Mueller then describes, in great detail, the suffering of American families who lost friends and family members in the 1988 Pan Am tragedy that killed all 270 passengers and crew. Most of the dead were Americans.
Mueller justifies his complaint by reminding MacAskill that he was the “Assistant Attorney General in charge of the investigation and indictment of Megrahi in 1991.”
The Scottish government has indicated it will stand by its decision.
After his release Megrahi was escorted by Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of Libyan leader Moammar‚ Gadhafi, to his home country of Libya. Upon arrival Megrahi was showered with flower petals and greeted with cheers and jubilation from the massive crowd that stood waiting for him.
President Obama warned Libya not to turn Megrahi’s homecoming into a celebration, and that the convicted Libyan terrorist should be placed under house arrest. Obama has also criticized Megrahi’s release.
Many are accusing the Scottish government of freeing Megrahi in exchange for oil. Several British news outlets have reported a negotiation deal that, in exchange for Megrahi’s release, would allow companies such as BP (British Petroleum) to gain access to lucrative wells of Libyan oil.
In 2007, BP signed an oil search deal with Libya worth $900 million. The deal has allowed BP to search for gas in west Libya and offshore. According to the Times Online however, BP has, since the start of the project, been hit with a string of delays in attempts to import equipment through Libyan customs and secure legal paperwork.
Some believe that Megrahi’s release would give BP the go-ahead to bypass certain security measurements and conduct their search in a more peaceful and, perhaps, prosperous way.
Britain has denied any such connection.