N.Y., N.J. lawmakers want investigation into Lockerbie bomber release, health

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. 

But the four senators from New York and New Jersey are calling for an investigation of that release, arguing al-Megrahi seems to be in better health than was once assumed. 

“There is clear reason to believe that this terrorist was released based on false information about his health,” said Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerOvernight Tech: Tech pushes for debate spotlight | Disney may bid for Twitter | Dem seeks Yahoo probe Saudis hire lobbyists amid 9/11 fight Consumer bureau remains partisan target after Wells Fargo settlement MORE (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 GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas Senate Dems call for investigation into Wells Fargo's wage practices Fears mount that Obama will change course on Israel in final months MORE (D-N.Y.), Robert MenendezRobert MenendezTaiwan and ICAO: this is the time Rubio warns of terror attack from Cuba flights Politicians shouldn’t be above the law, Trump and Clinton included MORE (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.”