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article imageDeputy Prime Minister says al Megrahi should be returned to jail

By Gemma Fox     Aug 24, 2011 in Politics
Edinburgh - Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg today said that he thought that the only person convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing should be back behind bars.
Abdel Basset al Megrahi was convicted for his part in planning the explosion which brought down Pan Am flight 103 over the town of Lockerbie on December 21 1988. The death toll from the terrorist attack was 270.
On January 31 2001 at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, a special court of three Scottish judges found al Megrahi guilty of the murder of 270 people and sentenced him to life imprisonment. He was sent first to Barlinnie prison in Glasgow before being transferred to Greenock prison in February 2005.
However, it was revealed that al Megrahi was suffering from advanced prostate cancer in September 2008 and on August 20 2009 Scotland's Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced that al Megrahi would released on compassionate grounds as he was suffering terminal prostate cancer and was expected to only have about 3 months to live.
Two years later, al Megrahi is still alive.
The current situation in Libya and the apparent toppling of the Gaddafi regime has led for calls for al Megrahi to be returned to jail for the crimes committed in 1988.
Speaking to Sky News today Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said, "My personal view is that I would like to see al Megrahi behind bars, because whatever you think, he was convicted in a court of law for one of the most atrocious terrorist acts this country has ever seen."
He continued, "At the end of the day this is an issue for the Scottish government alone."
"He's been released for reasons that we know, he's released on licence. You can't re-try someone several times - that's not what is at stake here.
"It's for the Scottish Government to reflect on how the circumstances have changed. I'm just expressing my own view, which I did at the time, which is that this is a man that was convicted of a terrible, terrible atrocity."
The whereabouts of al Megrahi is currently unknown. Senators in the USA have called for him to be extradited to the States and trialled there. The majority of those killed in the December 1988 attack were US citizens.
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