Lockerbie bomber wore body armour during release from jail

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London, Dec. 2 (ANI): Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed alMegrahi wore a protective body armour beneath his white shell suit as he was being taken from a Scotland prison to Glasgow airport to be released in Libya.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill disclosed this while facing questions from the Scottish Parliament's justice committee on his handling of the release.

"The release from Greenock prison resulted in the Scottish Prison Service requiring to acquire a vehicle, I think, that was bombproof to avoid roadside devices," The Scotsman quoted MacAskill, as saying.

"It required the Reliance officers receiving enhanced danger pay. It required al-Megrahi dressed in a shell suit because he was hiding the body armour that he was wearing," he added.

MacAskill was also asked whether it was considered to house Megrahi in his family home in Newton Mearns, Glasgow, or to release him into a hospital instead of sending him back to Libya.

MacAskill said the advice received from Strathclyde Police was that 48 officers would have been needed to guard the bomber in the residential suburb, where there would have been restricted access in the roads surrounding the house.

"It did not seem to me appropriate that 48 officers should be required for one house; that additional vehicles would have been required to be brought in to protect him from an attack; that police officers, Reliance officers, SPS (Scottish Prison Service] staff and doubtless medical staff would have to consider wearing body armour," he said.

It would have been "inappropriate and downright disrespectful" to have interrupted the care of others by imposing armed guards and a "media circus" in hospitals, he added. (ANI)

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