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No to Megrahi extradition - Salmond

The possibility of the only man ever convicted of the Lockerbie bombing being extradited from Libya has been dismissed by Scotland's First Minister.

Alex Salmond spoke after footage showing Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, looking ill and apparently close to death, was aired on US news channel CNN.

The images also prompted the father of one of the bombing victims to call for Megrahi to be left in peace to die. Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora, 23, called the idea of extraditing the bomber "monstrous".

In the wake of calls, particularly from America, that the former Libyan intelligence agent should be sent back to prison in the US, Mr Salmond said: "The latest pictures broadcast of Mr al-Megrahi clearly demonstrate that he is an extremely sick man, dying of terminal prostate cancer.

"Hopefully, this will end the ridiculous conspiracy theories that seek to claim anything else."

He said the decision on whether or not to extradite Megrahi lay with the Scottish government and the National Transitional Council (NTC) in Libya.

"Mr al-Megrahi remains under Scottish jurisdiction, and the only people with any legal entitlement to call for his return to Scotland are the Scottish Government," he said.

"We have never had - and do not have - any intention of asking for the extradition of Mr al-Megrahi, because he has conformed to his licence conditions."

He added: "The only other people with any legitimate say in the matter are the members of the National Transitional Council as the duly constituted legal authority in Libya, and they have already made it clear that any request for extradition would have been rejected."

The NTC's new justice minister Mohammed al-Alagi ruled out handing Megrahi over, saying: "We will not give any Libyan citizen to the West."


From Belfast Telegraph