Senators from the New York area say they want a full investigation into the release of the Lockerbie bomber, claiming new evidence shows he was not as sick as once believed.
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, convicted in 2001 of plotting the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, was released from a Scottish prison in 2009 after a doctor predicted he had just three months to live.
“There is clear reason to believe that this terrorist was released based on false information about his health,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). “This is especially galling to those of us who believed he shouldn’t have been released even if it had been true that his death was imminent.”
The doctor who made the original diagnosis told British media outlets this month that al-Megrahi could live for another ten years and suggested the Libyan government pressured him to make the three-month diagnosis.
Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), wrote a letter to the British Ambassador to the United States today asking the U.K. to investigate the process of al-Megrahi’s release.
They also cited reports that political or economic considerations contributed to the decision to release al-Megrahi.
“These newly revealed details threaten to undermine public trust in due process and justice for the victims of terrorism,” the senators wrote. “Unfortunately, allegations are circulating in the media that the release may have been motivated by political and business considerations. If true, this would significantly undermine the ability of countries that practice the rule of law to bring future terrorists to justice.”