Released Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, who still protests his innocence, was given a hero’s welcome upon his arrival in Libya and has appeared on TV with Colonel Gaddafi.
US President Barack Obama described the scenes as ‘highly objectionable’, the UK Foreign Secretary described the scenes as ‘deeply distressing’ and the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said the reception was ‘inappropriate’.
What on earth did they expect?
Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was released on ‘compassionate grounds’ or in exchange for oil and trade concessions, depending upon whether you choose to believe the British Government or the Libyans.
According to the Foreign Office:
No deal has been made between the UK government and the Libyan government in relation to Megrahi and any commercial interests
According to Colonel Gaddafi’s son, Seif al-Islam, Megrahi’s case was raised during talks over oil and gas and reportedly had been raised repeatedly by Britain’s former prime minister Tony Blair. On Libyan TV, Seif al-Islam said:
In all commercial contracts, for oil and gas with Britain, Megrahi was always on the negotiating table
So, they can’t both be telling the truth! Is the truth somewhere in the middle?
It seems highly unlikely that the British Government would mislead the public, having been so open and transparent about the reasons for intervention in Iraq, honest in the handling of expense claims, virtuous in their support of the Gurkhas……..