Releasing Lockerbie bomber is wrong: Clinton

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said Scotland will be “wrong” to release a Libyan man serving a life sentence in Scotland for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people.

“It is obviously wrong to release someone who has been in prison based on the evidence about his involvement in such a horrendous crime,” Clinton said Tuesday. “We are still encouraging the Scottish authorities not to do so and hope they will not.”

Reports began emerging last week that a decision to release Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, now 57 and facing terminal cancer, was imminent.

Al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of playing a role in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and received life imprisonment. His supporters in Scotland have called for him to be released and returned to Libya so he can spend his remaining days with his family.

Scottish authorities have refused to confirm any plans to free al-Megrahi. His lawyers announced Tuesday that he has dropped his appeal in the case in a sign that they were expecting him to be released.

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