Unspoken reasons for Lockerbie bomber release

When Scotland released convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi to return to Libya, no one believed for long that it was out of the pure goodness of their hearts (although al-Megrahi has terminal cancer and only three months to live).

Naturally, oil was atop of the list of suspects.
The British government allowed the Lockerbie bomber to be covered by a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya because that was in the "overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom" as a major oil deal was being negotiated, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The Sunday Times, citing leaked correspondence between Justice Secretary Jack Straw and his Scottish counterpart Kenny MacAskill, said the decision was made as "wider negotiations" with the government of Libya continued.

On Sunday, Straw dismissed as "simply untrue" any suggestion that economic considerations had an effect on the decision to release Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.
The story goes that a deal between BP and Libya was on the rocks, and the release of al-Megrahi was a related concession.

The idea that the release was a chess move in the Great Game of energy is both plausible and great political fodder - so much so that Tory leader David Cameron has vigorously jumped on the bandwagon.

But according to FP Passport, the release may have been more legal than a matter of energy geopolitics. Al-Megrahi had an appeal pending which may have succeeded, to much public embarrassment.
Lawyers, politicians, diplomats and relatives of Lockerbie victims now believe that the former Libyan intelligence officer is innocent.Robert Black QC, an emeritus professor of Scottish law at Edinburgh University, was one of the architects of the original trial in Holland.He has closely followed developments since the disaster happened and in2000 devised the non-jury trial system for the al-Megrahi case.

Even before the trial he was so sure the evidence against al-Megrahi would not stand up in court that he is on record as saying that a conviction would be impossible. When I asked how he feels about this remark now,Black replied: "I am still absolutely convinced that I am right. No reasonable tribunal, on the evidence heard at the original trial,should or could have convicted him and it is an absolute disgrace and outrage what the Scottish court did."
So maybe it was just to save legal face, and not everything is related to resources after all.

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