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Britain admits freeing Lockerbie bomber was a mistake

In a photo released by the Crown Office, Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the Libyan man who was convicted of the deadly 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, is shown in his passport picture on August 20, 2009. Al-Megrahi, diagnosed with terminal cancer, was released by Scottish officials on compassionate grounds and returned to Libya. UPI/Crown Office
In a photo released by the Crown Office, Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the Libyan man who was convicted of the deadly 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, is shown in his passport picture on August 20, 2009. Al-Megrahi, diagnosed with terminal cancer, was released by Scottish officials on compassionate grounds and returned to Libya. UPI/Crown Office | License Photo

LONDON, July 27 (UPI) -- Britain's foreign secretary Wednesday condemned the last government's release of the Lockerbie bomber, who turned up at a pro-Gadhafi rally in Tripoli.

Sending jailed Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi home to Libya was a "great mistake," William Hague said, and the medical advice used to justify it as "pretty much worthless."

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On Tuesday, Libyan state TV showed al-Megrahi, in a wheelchair, attending a rally for dictator Moammar Gadhafi almost two years after doctors supposedly said he was dying of cancer and had three months to live, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Al-Megrahi, 58, is the only person ever convicted of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over the Scottish town that killed 270 people.

"The prime minister [David Cameron] and I, when we were in opposition, both strongly disagreed with that position by Scottish ministers," Hague said. "We disagreed with what has subsequently been revealed about the facilitation by the previous Labor government at Westminster of moves towards the release of al-Megrahi."

Hague made the remarks at a news conference announcing British recognition of the Libyan rebels and the expulsion of Gadhafi's diplomats.

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