Program Note: Tonight we'll be covering the release of the only man convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. He was freed from prison and sent home to Libya on "compassionate grounds." Brian Flynn, whose brother was killed in the attack, will be on tonight. 10 p.m. ET.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/08/20/lockerbie.bomber.reaction/art.lockerbie.megrahi.jpg caption="Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, 57, boards a plane after his release from prison."]
For The Guardian
Imagine if one of the September 11 hijackers had lived, that he was fairly tried, convicted and sentenced to a lengthy jail term. Then, after just a few years, under an agreement with the Afghan government, we sent him back to serve out his term with the Taliban under Osama bin Laden.
Although it seems almost impossible, a painfully similar scenario is playing out in the Scotland. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi – the terrorist convicted in the Lockerbie bombing – may soon be released by the Scottish government and handed over to Libya, the very government that plotted this cowardly mass murder.
The evidence against Megrahi is overwhelming and has withstood more than two fervent appeals. He was a member of Libyan intelligence travelling under a false passport to Malta on the day of the bombing, and lied about it more than once. Any rational person reviewing the evidence would conclude that Megrahi is guilty. Even more damning, the court's conviction clearly stated that Megrahi committed the murder for "furtherance of Libyan intelligence". There has been no regime change or democratic revolution. And yet the Scottish government is eager to return this murderer to his dictator – Muammar Gaddafi – a man who has gone on the record as hating all things western.
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