Lockerbie Bomber Seen On TV Rally
PRESS ASSOCIATION -- The man convicted of killing 270 people in the Lockerbie bombing has been seen on Libyan television.
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison almost two years ago on compassionate grounds, after serving nearly eight years of a 27-year sentence.
Four days before Christmas in 1988, the Pan Am Flight 103 travelling from London to New York was targeted in a bomb attack, causing it to crash in Lockerbie, in Dumfries and Galloway.
In footage seen by the BBC on Tuesday night, a television presenter introduced Megrahi at what appears to be a pro-government rally, and said his conviction was the result of a "conspiracy". He also said his release had been a victory against oppression.
It was reported that during the apparently live broadcast, Megrahi was in a wheelchair.
Megrahi returned to Libya after being freed in August 2009. He had been diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer and the Scottish Government released him on compassionate grounds after judging that he had about three months to live. He has rarely been seen since his return.
John Lamont, Scottish Conservative MSP and a member of the Justice Committee, said: "The last thing relatives of the 270 people murdered by the Lockerbie Bomber need to see is the sight of him alive and well and free, almost two years after he was released by the SNP Government. It was a bad decision made badly and one that shames Scotland around the world. The day is fast approaching when the SNP Government will have to apologise for this terrible decision."
Margaret Scott, Megrahi's defence QC, told appeal judges at the time that his "absolute priority in the little time he has left is to spend it with his family in his homeland".
The decision to free him came on August 20, 2009, in an announcement from Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. But his release was met with widespread criticism, with the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton branding it "absolutely wrong".
Of the 270 victims, 189 were American. Eleven residents of Lockerbie also died, after the plane crashed down on their homes.