Keep Magrahi locked up, U.S. lawmaker says

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. lawmakers expressed concern over the possible compassionate release of a Libyan national convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103.

Abdel Basset al-Magrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer, was convicted in 2001 for his role in plotting the 1988 attack that left all 259 passengers and 11 people on the ground dead.


Scottish authorities expect to announce a decision on his release as early as this week. Magrahi aims to secure a compassionate release as he suffers from terminal prostate cancer.

U.S. Rep. Howard Berman, the Democratic chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the early release would be an injustice to the victims of Pan Am 103.

"His release from Scottish prison, under any circumstance, would be a travesty and a display of contempt for the families of 270 dead innocents, including 189 Americans," Berman in a statement.

The California lawmaker went on to call on Scottish and British authorities to take the necessary actions to ensure Magrahi remains imprisoned.

"I call on all British and Scottish authorities to use their influence to try to persuade (Scottish Justice Minister Kenny) MacAskill to take the just and moral course of keeping al-Magrahi behind bars in Scotland for the remainder of his days," Berman concluded.


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