London: The release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi from a Scotland prison had sent out a "wrong signal”, leading to "a political and diplomatic victory" for Muammar al-Gaddafi, the UK head of the newly-recognised Libyan government has claimed.
Guma el-Gamaty, the UK co-ordinator for the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC), officially recognised by Britain as the country’s new legitimate government, said Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi should have remained in Scotland to allow his appeal to be heard.
He insisted that Libya`s newly-recognised government would want "to get to the bottom" of the crimes committed during the Gaddafi era, if and when the dictator is ousted from power in Tripoli.
"No decent Libyan would disagree that the Lockerbie bombing in 1989 was a barbaric, heinous and shameful international crime," The Scotsland on Sunday quoted him as saying ahead of the second anniversary of Megrahi`s release next Saturday.
Megrahi was released from the Scotland prison after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, leading to a hero’s welcome back home in Libya. The doctors had claimed that the terrorist would die within three months, but he is surprisingly alive and in good condition in Libya.
Two weeks ago he was seen on Libyan TV at a rally supporting the ailing dictator`s attempts to remain in power.
El-Gamaty said that Megrahi`s return to Libya was a boost to Gaddafi.
"I think it has helped Gaddafi and not the Libyan people. Unfortunately it gave Gaddafi a political and diplomatic victory," he said.
"Everyone admits that it was the wrong signal. By releasing Megrahi it was the wrong signal. Megrahi was pursuing an appeal for so long and he should have been allowed to conclude the appeal," he added.