Scotland's First Minister defends decision to release Lockerbie bomber

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London, July 22 (ANI): Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has written to American senators defending his government's decision to release Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, and clarified that it had received no representation from British Petroleum on the matter.

In a letter to John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Salmond made clear that the Scottish Government made the decision on compassionate grounds.

According to The Sun, he expressed his disagreement with British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama on July 21, 2010 that the bomber should have died in jail.

Earlier, Cameron had called it a wrong decision.

"Releasing the Lockerbie bomber, a mass murderer, was completely wrong. He showed his victims no compassion. They were not allowed to die in their beds at home," Cameron said.

In reply, Obama said that al-Megrahi's release has hurt the US, and left it "surprised, disappointed and angry".

"The decision ran contrary to how we should be treating terrorists. I have confidence that Prime Minister Cameron's government will be co-operative. The key thing to understand here is we've got a British Prime Minister who shares our anger and who also objects to how it played out," he said then.

According to The Sun, Megrahi was the only person convicted of the 1988 atrocity that killed 270 people including 190 Americans.

However, Scotland freed him on compassionate grounds nearly a year ago amid huge controversy and allowed to fly home to a hero's welcome in Libya after the doctor declared that he would die of cancer in three months, but later apologized saying that he would live for 10-20 years more. (ANI)

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