[QODLink]
Africa
Clinton: NTC must deal with Lockerbie bomber
US secretary of state tells Libya's new leaders the man convicted of 1988 passenger jet bombing should be behind bars.
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2011 05:30
Al-Megrahi, who was released from a Scottish prison in 2009, is reported to be near death at his home in Tripoli

Libyan opposition leaders must deal with the case of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has said.

In a meeting with senior members of Libya's National Transitional Council in Paris on Thursday, Clinton said the US would be watching closely how the case was handled.

Clinton's comments came amid growing calls from US politicians and leading Republican presidential candidates for al-Megrahi's return to prison or even extradition.

Al-Megrahi, who is suffering from prostate cancer, was released on compassionate grounds two years ago, after serving eight years of a life sentence in Scotland for the passenger jet bombing that killed 270 people, many of them US citizens.

Doctors had said he would die of cancer within three months.

"The United States categorically disagrees with the decision that was made two years ago by the Scottish executive to release al-Megrahi and return him to Libya," Clinton told reporters.

"We have never wavered from our disagreement and condemnation of that decision. He should be behind bars."

Hero's welcome

In her meetings, Clinton made clear to Libyan opposition leaders Mustafa Abdul-Jalil and Mahmoud Jibril that the US believed al-Megrahi should never have been freed.

His return to a hero's welcome in Muammar Gaddafi's Libya remains problematic, US officials said.

Clinton said the US also was seeking the Libyan interim government's assistance for more information about possible accomplices in the planning or execution of the bombing in December 1988.

Al-Megrahi, a staunch Gaddafi supporter, is now reported to be near death at his home in Tripoli, the Libyan capital.

The NTC says it will not deport him even though Chuck Schumer, a US senator, has asked Clinton to make the release of billions of dollars in frozen assets from the Gaddafi government contingent on al-Megrahi's return to jail.

The US state department said on Wednesday that Clinton would press the opposition on the case, but would not link it to the assets, given the immediate priorities such as securing and stabilising Libya.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.