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Scotland prosecutors ask Libya NTC for Lockerbie information

Scottish prosecutors asked Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) [official website] on Monday for any evidence, witnesses or assistance they can provide in tracking down those involved in the Lockerbie bombing [BBC backgrounder]. The request follows the Scottish Crown's recent defense of its decision to release [JURIST report] convicted Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi [BBC profile] on humanitarian grounds due to his terminal prostate cancer diagnosis. Megrahi, convicted of murdering 270 people in 2001 after blowing up Pan Am Flight 103, was received as a "hero" upon returning to Libya from prison and still lives two years later [Reuters report]. Convinced that Megrahi did not act alone [MSNBC article], prosecutors have also suggested investigating the possible involvement of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi [BBC profile, JURIST news archive]. The NTC has yet to respond to the Crown's request.

In August 2010, Scottish Labour Party officials called for the publication of all medical evidence related to the release [JURIST report] of al-Megrahi. The demand came one year after al Megrahi was released [JURIST report] from prison on compassionate grounds because doctors predicted he only had three months to live. Despite the publication of a report leading to the decision, the Labour party said that all medical opinions leading to the decision and the names of the doctors who authored them should also be released [BBC report]. Responding to criticism of his decision to release al Megrahi, Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill [official website] claimed he acted in good faith when authorizing the release, denying that there was an arrangement [Telegraph report] for al Megrahi to drop his appeal in return for his release. Al Megrahi returned to his native Libya, where he is still living, and experts have suggested that he could continue living for several more years [AP report]. Al Megrahi's release was controversial, with both US officials and the Scottish Parliament [JURIST reports] condemning it. Last year, US lawmakers called for an investigation [JURIST report] into the role that oil company British Petroleum (BP) may have played in al Megrahi's release.

4:20 PM ET ~ Libya's interim justice minister said Monday that the Lockerbie case is "closed" [Reuters report]

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