Ah, how time flies. It seems it was only yesterday that Lockerbie terrorist Al Megrahi was released by Scottish authorities on compassionate grounds and sent home to Libya to die.
It may seem only yesterday, but in fact it’s been three months—exactly. And three months, you may recall, was the amount of time Al Megrahi had left to live, in the best estimates of his Scottish doctors. But it should come as no surprise whatsoever that Al Megrahi is still alive.
I’m not asking that Al Megrahi die. I’m merely asking that he be returned to prison, where he belongs—and where he should have stayed in the first place, even if the three months’ prediction had been correct. I’m joined in this position by none other than New York’s Senator Charles Schumer, who says he’s written a letter to Gordon Brown asking for Al Megrahi’s immediate return to prison.
A spokeswoman for Scottish Justice Minister Kenny Macaskill gave this answer:
For Megrahi to be recalled, he would need to breech one or more conditions of his license. Not dying withing three months is not one of those conditions.
Here’s the best report I could find on Al Megrahi’s medical progress since leaving the UK three months ago. It seems that after his hero’s welcome he entered a Tripoli hospital, where the Libyans somehow found a more effective way to treat his cancer than the Scottish medical system could offer:
[Al Megrahi] entered [a] Tripoli hospital to undergo an aggressive chemotherapy programme just days after Libyans celebrated his triumphal return.
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s regime publicly declared its hope that “a miracle from God” would preserve his life…Under the terms of the medical parole arrangement made with the Scottish government, Megrahi was supposed to communicate with officials weekly via a videolink installed in his family home.
Megrahi has now been sent back to the family’s villa in central Tripoli where a police guard keeps unauthorised visitors at bay. The family has been ordered to sever contacts with journalists.
Here’s an article whereby we learn some background; “only prisoners with three months or less to survive are eligible for release on compassionate grounds.” No doubt it’s a complete coincidence that Al Megrahi was found to have about three months to live, that he was then released, and that he’s still alive three months later.
The only real question seems to be: were the Scottish and/or other UK authorities played by al Megrahi, or were they in cahoots with him in order to get rid of him?