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27 Aug, 2009 16:16

Muammar Gaddafi: back in the pack with Libyan terrorist’s release

There's mounting pressure in the U.S. and UK on the British and Scottish governments to reveal if a deal was struck with Libya over the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi was convicted of planting a bomb on a passenger jet that ended up crashing in the skies over Scotland, killing 270 people. Now Scottish authorities released the terrorist on compassionate grounds because he is suffering from terminal stages of pancreatic cancer. But many are wondering whether there were other reasons, and probably oil-rich Libya is just very good at manipulating the West.

Ruth Wedgwood, Professor of International Law at John Hopkins University, says she has no basis to dispute Al-Megrahi’s illness, but she doubts it is appropriate to express compassion to someone responsible for the death of 270 people.

The professor is sure that the reception Al-Megrahi got in Tripoli, a heroic homeboy coming home and being greeted with applause there, shows that the Scots were, at a minimum, a bit naïve about what could come after.

The more the UK says “it is not about oil”, the more clearly it is on the table. Not only the UK, but many other European countries are interested in Libyan oil.

“The oil issue is too obvious to comment on it. Prince Andrew has been to Libya three times in the last year to talk oil,” she said.

As a conclusion, she said “Muammar Gaddafi has great ambitions, he is very erratic and the very fact that he so surprised the States and Brits by how he would received Al-Megrahi shows that he is still a wild card in international politics.”