Libya to celebrate anniversary of Lockerbie bomber’s release


London : Libya is preparing to mark the first anniversary of the Lockerbie bomber’s release with leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi urging his countrymen to thank those who helped to free him, including former British prime minister Gordon Brown.

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Gaddafi will also ask Libyans to pray for Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill, who approved Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s freedom, The Sun reported Monday.

Gaddafi has ordered prayers to mark Friday’s anniversary of the decision to free Megrahi from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds Aug 20, 2009.

Al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer, was convicted in the Dec 21, 1988, bombing of the Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York. All 243 passengers and 16 crew members on board the plane were killed in the blast, while 11 people in Lockerbie in Scotland died as large section of the plane fell around the town.

Al-Megrahi served just over eight years of his sentence in Scotland’s Greenock Prison, before being diagnosed with prostate cancer and released on compassionate grounds. But his continued survival has fuelled anger in the US.

“People will pray for Megrahi and give thanks to those who helped to free him, including Gordon Brown and Kenny MacAskill. This is what the Brother Leader (Gaddafi) wants. He doesn’t wish to cause offence,” a spokesperson for Gaddafi said.

It emerged Sunday that none of the doctors treating the bomber in Greenock were consulted on his release.