Call for Megrahi to have 'open door' to Scotland

SUPPORTERS of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi say he should be allowed to return to Scotland to avoid being extradited to the United States.

The Justice for Megrahi group is calling on the Scottish Government to offer him an "open door" after American senators declared last week that they hoped to persuade Libyan rebels to hand him over if they gain control of the country.

Megrahi's supporters say the Scottish Government should pre-empt such a plan by bringing him back to Scotland to prevent a "diplomatic disaster".

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Robert Forrester, of the Justice for Megrahi group, wrote: "It is now of vital importance that the Scottish authorities at least offer Mr al-Megrahi an open door through which to escape his current circumstances if he wishes to do so, not least because so many profound doubts exist over his 2001 conviction."

His comments come after US politicians stepped up their war of words over Megrahi's release after TV images of the bomber were broadcast at a pro-Gaddafi event in Libya last week.

Democrat Senator Robert Menendez said he hoped to persuade a new Libyan government "to extradite Mr al-Megrahi to the United States to pay for his crimes".

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "East Renfrewshire Council, as the supervising local authority, is responsible for monitoring al-Megrahi's release licence, and the council has been able to maintain regular contact with Mr al-Megrahi during the recent conflict in Libya."