Friday, 21 August 2009

Release of al-Megrahi was linked to a trade deal?

Tonight's Newsnight is claiming that one of Colonel Gaddafi's seven sons is claiming that Mohamed al-Megrahi's release was linked to trade deals. I wonder if Peter Mandelson, one of whose many responsibilities in government is Trade, would like to comment; maybe with reference to his meeting in Corfu with Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (one of Gaddafi's sons).

Another question that needs answering is was the son Newsnight are quoting the same one that Peter Mandelson met?

Wikipedia records re Saif al-Islam Gaddafi that:
"In 1997, he founded the official charity, the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations, which has intervened in various hostage situations involving Islamic militants... Saif also performs public relations and diplomatic roles on behalf of his father... On December 10, 2004, shortly before a trip by Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin to Tripoli, Saif requested in an interview with The Globe and Mail a formal apology from the Canadian government, for joining U.S.-led sanctions against Libya after the Lockerbie bombing... In an August 2008 BBC TV interview, Saif said that Libya had admitted responsibility (but not admitted "guilt") for the Lockerbie bombing simply to get trade sanctions removed. He further admitted that Libya was being "hypocritical" and was "playing on words", but Libya had no other choice on the matter. According to Saif, a letter admitting "responsibility" was the only way to end the economic sanctions imposed on Libya. When asked about the compensation that Libya was paying to the victims' families, he again repeated that Libya was doing so because it had no other choice. He went on to describe the families of the Lockerbie victims as "trading with the blood of their sons and daughters" and being very "greedy": "They were asking for more money and more money and more money"... Interviewed by French newspaper Le Figaro on December 7, 2007, Saif said that the seven Libyans convicted for the Pan Am Flight 103 and the UTA Flight 772 bombings "are innocent". When asked if Libya would therefore seek reimbursement of the compensation paid to the families of the victims ($2.33 billion), Saif replied: "I don't know." Saif is involved in negotiating compensation from Libya's former colonial power, Italy, and according to prime minister Silvio Berlusconi a bilateral "friendship treaty" is expected to be signed by the end of August 2008. He is also negotiating with the United States in order to conclude a comprehensive agreement making any further payments for American victims of terror attacks that have been blamed on Libya — such as the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing, the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and the 1989 UTA Flight 772 bombing — conditional upon U.S. payment of compensation for the 40 Libyans killed and 220 injured in the 1986 United States bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi""

I think the al-Megrahi release story has legs as more facts emerge could actually prove to be the downfall of this Labour government. More and more people are beginning to realise quite how this Labour government operates and they don't like it. Maybe a point has been reached where enough people feel angry enough that a general election may be forced upon Gordon "courage" Brown and Peter "twice disgraced" Mandelson.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

Even though he is dying,he should not be trusted and he should still be monitored.