New York’s two Democratic senators are calling on Libya’s new transitional government to bring to justice the Libyan man convicted of masterminding the bombing of Pan Am flight 107 over Lockerbie, Scotland, more than two decades ago.
In separate statements, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand asked the Transitional National Council to return Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to jail, where they say he ought to be. Many of the 189 American victims aboard Pan Am Flight 103 lived in and around New York.
The Scottish government released al-Megrahi from prison two years ago as he fought what was then considered terminal cancer. When he returned home to Libya, he was publicly celebrated and given an audience with leader Muammar Qadhafi — outraging observers in the United States and the United Kingdom.
“Two years after an incorrect medical prognosis prompted his release from prison, the Lockerbie bomber is not only alive and well, but seems to have even outlived the Qadhafi regime,” Schumer said in a statement on Monday. “As a transitional government takes hold in Libya, it should seek to undo the injustice of al-Megrahi’s release by returning him to the jail cell where he belongs. A new Libya can send a strong statement to the world by declaring it will no longer be a haven for this convicted terrorist.”
Gillibrand, meanwhile said that al-Megrahi’s release “was a total miscarriage of justice.”
“Seeing him participate in good health at a pro-Qadhafi rally recently was another slap in the face not just for the families of the Lockerbie victims, but for all Americans and all nations of the world who are committed to bringing terrorists to justice,” she said. “The transitional government should immediately seek justice and hold this terrorist accountable by sending him back to prison. If we’re ever going to win the fight against international terrorism, the rule of law must hold strong.”
The statements from Schumer and Gillibrand came after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney issued a statement earlier Monday calling on the new Libyan government to arrest al-Megrahi and turn him over to U.S. authorities.
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