Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has announced his intention to file a bill subjecting the thawing of Libyan assets and their transfer to the National Transitional Council to the arrest and extradition of Abdel Basset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.
Close to Hillary Clinton and known for his anti-Castro views, Robert Menendez is one of the most influential Democrats in the Senate.
The Jamahiriya has consistently denied involvement in the Lockerbie bombing (21 December 1988) of PanAm flight 103, which caused 270 victims. On 31 March 1992, the UN Security Council (Resolution 748) made it compulsory for Libya to cooperate with the authorities of Great Britain and deliver the Libyan nationals suspected of involvement. In 1998, following Nelson Mandela’s mediation, the Jamahiriya agreed to have its citizens tried, but in the Netherlands by Scottish judges. Security Council sanctions were thus suspended. Ali Megrahi was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 2003, Libya decided to settle all pending disputes with the United States, believing that it would forestall the war being planned. In this context, Tripoli agreed to compensate the families of the victims up to $ 2.7 billion, while continuing to claim its innocence.
In 2009, Ali Megrahi was released for health reasons and returned to a hero’s welcome in Libya. It would appear that this release was negotiated by Sir Mark Allen in the interests of BP.
In 2005, a Scottish police officer attested that the key incriminating evidence was planted on the crime scene by CIA agents. In 2007, a Swiss engineer admitted to having fabricated such evidence. Finally, the only witness confessed that he was given $ 2 million to give false testimony linking the exhibit to Ali Megrahi. Considering a manifest miscarriage of justice, the Scottish Review Commission ordered a retrial. But the state of health of the accused did precluded it.
In February 2011, the president of the National Transitional Council (CNT), Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, told Swedish tabloid Expressen that the Lockerbie bombing had been ordered by Gaddafi himself. That’s all it will take for the US ruling class to refile charges against the Jamahiriya despite the breakdown of the legal proceedings.