Lockerbie: Libya piles new pressure on Gordon Brown
Published Date: 01 September 2009
PRIME Minister Gordon Brown was facing fresh pressure over the Lockerbie row tonight amid claims he backed releasing the bomber.
A Libyan minister insisted he had been told Mr Brown and Foreign Secretary David Miliband did not believe Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi should die in prison.
The revelation came in notes taken by a Scottish Government delegation of a meeting with Libya's minister for Europe, Abdulati Alobidi, in March this year.
Mr Brown and UK ministers have consistently refused to say whether they supported freeing Megrahi on compassionate grounds, or transferring him to serve the rest of his sentence in his home country – stressing it was a decision for the Scottish Justice Secretary.
But Mr Alobidi apparently told Scottish officials that he had been given an indication of the view in Downing Street during a meeting with Foreign Office minister Bill Rammell in Tripoli in February.
The notes, published by the Scottish Government this evening, stated: "Mr Alobidi confirmed that he had reiterated to Mr Rammell that the death of Mr Megrahi in a Scottish prison would have catastrophic effects for the relationship between Libya and the UK.
"Mr Alobidi went on to say that Mr Rammell had stated that neither the Prime Minister nor the Foreign Secretary would want Mr Megrahi to pass away in prison but the decision on transfer lies in the hands of the Scottish ministers."