Clinton presses Libya on Lockerbie bomber

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Sunday on Libya's new leaders to make sure the convicted Lockerbie bomber serves out the rest of his life sentence for the 1988 attack.

Libyan agent Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi is the only person convicted over the bombing of a Pan Am jumbo jet over the Scottish town, which killed 259 people on the plane, most of them Americans, and 11 people on the ground.

Cancer-stricken Megrahi was released by Scotland on compassionate grounds in 2009 after doctors said he had three months to live. He returned to Libya to a hero's welcome and is still alive.

"We want to see him returned to prison, preferably in Scotland, where he was serving the sentence," Clinton told ABC News.

"But if not, elsewhere, because we thought it was a miscarriage of justice that he was released from the sentence that had been imposed for the ghastly bombing of Pan Am 103."

The top US diplomat, who visited Libya earlier this month, told CNN in a separate interview that she had already taken up the matter with the new Libyan leadership several times.

"Once there's a government in place, we will renew our calls that Megrahi, who should never have been released in the first place, be returned to serve the rest of his sentence for the terrible crime against those passengers on Pan Am 103," Clinton told CNN.

Families of the US victims of the Lockerbie bombing applauded Thursday the Libyan people after the death of Moamer Kadhafi, but urged Libya's new leaders to bring the other perpetrators to justice.

"Although today is a great day for the Libyan people and for the universal fight for freedom, our work is not done," they said in a statement.

"The Libyan agent convicted in the bombing, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, remains at large in Libya and other Libyan officials involved in the bombing have not been captured," it said.

© 2011 AFP

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