Release Of Lockerbie Bomber 'A Travesty Of Justice'
New York, NY, August 20, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called the release of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the terrorist convicted of taking part in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 270 people were killed, "an outrage" and "a travesty of justice."
Al-Megrahi was released by Scottish officials today on "compassionate grounds" after his diagnosis of terminal prostate cancer. He later expressed "sympathy" for the families of those who were killed in the air disaster, but insisted he was wrongfully convicted in 2001.
Al-Megrahi, 57, was flown home to his native Libya.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
Scotland's decision to release Abdel Basset al-Megrahi is an outrageous action and a regrettable mistake. To treat such a violent person with "sensitivity" and to allow him to rejoin society is to extend to him a right that he had permanently denied his victims. For the families of those who perished, his release has reopened painful wounds and deprived them of a sense of closure.
The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 was a terrible tragedy that served as a wake-up call to the virulent danger of international terrorism. Libya ultimately accepted responsibility for the bombing, but al-Megrahi never once expressed remorse or accepted responsibility for his actions. To grant him the right to live out the last days of his life in freedom, after having served just eight years of a life sentence, is a travesty of justice. Like other perpetrators of violent terrorism who are caught and convicted, he should be made to live out his sentence in prison.
Al-Megrahi's statement of sympathy for the victims is belated and wholly inadequate.
ADL fights terrorism through The Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation, which is dedicated to educating the world about the deadly realities of terrorism, working to combat the threat of terrorism through educational, political and legal means.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.