Mistake to free Lockerbie bomber: British ambassador

Megrahi was released from Scottish prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds.

Updated: Jul 16, 2010, 09:19 AM IST

Washington: The British government believes that the decision by Scotland to free the Lockerbie bomber was a mistake, London`s envoy to the United States said on Thursday.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi is the only person convicted of the 1988 bombing of a US Pan Am jumbo jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, which left 270 people dead.

"The new British government is clear that Megrahi`s release was a mistake," Ambassador Nigel Sheinwald said, stressing that under the country`s laws power over justice issues have been devolved to Scotland.

Megrahi was released from jail in Scottish prison in August 2009 on compassionate grounds because he was said to be suffering from terminal cancer and had only three months to live. Reports have now emerged that he could live at least another 10 years.

On Tuesday, four US senators also called for an inquiry into allegations that British energy giant BP lobbied the British government to free Megrahi in order to protect a lucrative oil deal with Libya.