Archive for Blair

What was Mr Blair’s role in Megrahi’s release?

Posted in arrested terrorists, counterterrorism, foreign policy with tags , , , , , , on September 15, 2009 by admin

The Independent had an article some days ago about this that is interesting reading:

MPs are set to demand the minutes of an extraordinary cloak-and-dagger summit in London between British, American and Libyan spies held three days before Mr Blair announced that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was surrendering his weapons of mass destruction programme.

At the time of the secret meeting in December 2003 at the private Travellers Club in Pall Mall, London – for decades the favourite haunt of spies – Libyan officials were pressing for negotiations on the status of Megrahi, who was nearly three years into his life sentence at a Scottish jail.

 Was Mehgrahi’s release mentioned on that particular meeting? Perhaps 2003 seems somewhat far away but it would help us to understand the actual role of the three parties here.

Before:
Lybian Govt paid doctors to secure Megrahi’s release
Who really freed Megrahi?
UK Ministers release letters about Lockerbie deal.
Lockerbie bomber on show at Gadhafi’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
Lybia’s Gadhaffi: the forgotten story of his links to terror.
Brown denies deal for Megrahi.
Jack Straw’s letter on Megrahi’s release
Scotland denies any oil deal in Mehgrahi case.
US offered money to stop Mehgrahi’s release.
Lockerbie bomber’s release: an oil deal.
On Lockerbie bomber’s release: an oil deal?
Gadhaffi’s son asks why so angry about Lockerbie bomber’s release.
More details on Lockerbie bomber’s health asked.
Victims from Lockerbie bomber against Gadhafi’s visit to NJ.

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Jack Straw’s letter on Mehgrahi release

Posted in counterterrorism, foreign policy, terrorist attacks with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2009 by admin

BBC:

Justice Secretary Jack Straw dropped a demand to exclude the Lockerbie bomber from a Libyan prisoner transfer accord, the Sunday Times has reported.

Letters leaked to the paper say Mr Straw wanted to exclude Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi from the accord.

He backed down citing “overwhelming” UK interests. A major oil deal was being discussed at the time.

Mr Straw called the news “academic” – as Megrahi was freed on compassionate grounds, not under the transfer accord.

And he stressed that the Scottish authorities would still have had a veto over any move to send Megrahi home under the transfer agreement.

A stalled oil deal was ratified by the Libyans six weeks after the government dropped its bid to exclude him from the prisoner transfer agreement (PTA), the paper says.

Before:
Scotland denies any oil deal in Mehgrahi case.
US offered money to stop Mehgrahi’s release.
Lockerbie bomber’s release: an oil deal.
On Lockerbie bomber’s release: an oil deal?
Gadhaffi’s son asks why so angry about Lockerbie bomber’s release.
More details on Lockerbie bomber’s health asked.
Victims from Lockerbie bomber against Gadhafi’s visit to NJ.

Scotland denies any oil deal in Mehgrahi case

Posted in counterterrorism, foreign policy, terrorist attacks with tags , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2009 by admin

BBC NEWS | UK | Salmond denies Megrahi trade deal

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has denied that the release of the Lockerbie bomber had any links to UK trade talks with the Libyan government.

Letters leaked to a newspaper show UK ministers agreed to include him in a prisoner transfer deal in 2007 because of “overwhelming national interests”.

Mr Salmond said Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds with no London involvement.

But the Tories and Lib Dems want an inquiry into UK dealings with Libya.

Before:
US offered money to stop Mehgrahi’s release.
Lockerbie bomber’s release: an oil deal.
On Lockerbie bomber’s release: an oil deal?
Gadhaffi’s son asks why so angry about Lockerbie bomber’s release.
More details on Lockerbie bomber’s health asked.
Victims from Lockerbie bomber against Gadhafi’s visit to NJ.

US offered money to stop Mehgrahi’s release

Posted in foreign policy, terrorist attacks with tags , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2009 by admin

US offered ‘millions’ to keep bomber in UK – World Politics, World – The Independent

US officials had “very reluctantly” backed a proposal to move Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi from Greenock Prison into some kind of high-security accommodation elsewhere in Scotland, senior government sources on both sides of the Atlantic confirmed. But the Americans had only consented to the option in a desperate attempt to deter the Scottish Executive from releasing Mr Megrahi on compassionate grounds – due to his terminal prostate cancer – and sending him home to die.

They also made it clear that the US would be willing to contribute millions of dollars to a complicated house arrest operation that would demand round-the-clock security to keep the prisoner under guard and protect him from attack.

But the Scottish National Party administration in Edinburgh eventually chose the option of compassionate release, claiming police chiefs had ruled that the security implications of house arrest would be “severe”.

Before:
Lockerbie bomber’s release: an oil deal.
On Lockerbie bomber’s release: an oil deal?
Gadhaffi’s son asks why so angry about Lockerbie bomber’s release.
More details on Lockerbie bomber’s health asked.
Victims from Lockerbie bomber against Gadhafi’s visit to NJ.

On Lockerbie bomber’s release: an oil deal?

Posted in counterterrorism, foreign policy with tags , , , , , , , on August 29, 2009 by admin

A Sabotage Of Justice | The New Republic

Today al-Megrahi is free, as the Scottish Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill assures us that he “now faces a sentence imposed by a higher power.” Will MacAskill or perhaps Gordon Brown represent the dead at the gates of mercy? Was it not rather a gift to Gadhafi on the near-eve of his 40th anniversary as tyrant of Libya, an event that Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, was scheduled to attend. The despot acknowledged the intercession of Brown with Scotland for the prisoner’s freedom. Brown and his associates, pre-eminently the Baron Mandelson, have denied this. What they have not at all denied is their argument here, there and everywhere that there are, as the Times pointedly put it, lucrative business deals for Britain with Libya. Read the article by the incomparable John F. Burns in Sunday’s Times, devastating proof that both Tony Blair and Brown were in cahoots on this (in)human transaction. Or, as Lord Trefgarne (can these names be real?) intoned, “Megrahi’s release had raised hopes that the Libyans would ‘move a bit more swiftly’ on those deals.” Oh, joy.

The article in question is this one:

A Scottish government spokesman defended the decision, saying that Mr. MacAskill had consulted with the United States government and families of the victims, many of whom had supported the release. “Compassionate release is not part of the U.S. justice system but it is part of Scotland’s,” the spokesman said, according to the BBC.

But the British government’s record appeared to be providing the most ammunition to those who question its assertion of an independent decision in the case. Mr. Blair and Mr. Brown each intervened in the negotiation of a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya, with Mr. Megrahi its most obvious beneficiary. While those negotiations were going on, Libya awarded Britain a major oil contract, a $900 million deal involving BP, and dangled the prospect of others.

Before:
Gadhaffi’s son asks why so angry about Lockerbie bomber’s release.
More details on Lockerbie bomber’s health asked.
Victims from Lockerbie bomber against Gadhafi’s visit to NJ.