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Megrahi innocent, says Gadhafi's son

Sept. 8, 2009 at 4:32 PM

LONDON, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the convicted Lockerbie bomber released on compassionate grounds, is innocent, says Moammar Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam.

Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill on Aug. 20 released Megrahi, the lone suspect in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, on compassionate terms as the former Libyan intelligence officer suffers from terminal cancer.

Allegations surfaced that the Megrahi release was part of a prisoner transfer agreement between the British government and Tripoli. Oil was raised as a key issue as well.

Islam, speaking with the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, said Megrahi was part of the arrangement with British officials, adding the former intelligence officer was wrongly convicted.

"We are pleased by his return, and we are confident that if an investigation is carried out in the future (into the bombing), his innocence will be proven," he said.

Megrahi was transferred to an intensive care unit upon his arrival in Tripoli. Islam, however, discounted the rumors regarding his health.

"He is now in a good and stable condition," he said.

U.S. lawmakers have called for a formal investigation into the Megrahi release.

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