US senator calls for return of Lockerbie bomber to jail

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The Independent US

A US senator has written to Gordon Brown, demanding the immediate return of the Lockerbie bomber to prison. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi's early release from Greenock jail in Scotland on compassionate grounds was granted on the assumption that he had only three months to live because he was suffering from prostate cancer.

But three months had now elapsed since he was freed on 20 August and there was "speculation" that the severity of the Libyan's condition had been exaggerated, the senator said. He went on: "The bottom line is Megrahi should have never been released in the first place but it would be even more outrageous if he were to be able to live a long and free life after his release." In his letter to the Prime Minister he said: "Justice in this case was life in prison, no exceptions." Megrahi, who has now returned home to Tripoli, was serving a life sentence for the 1988 jumbo jet bombing which claimed 270 lives.