WASHINGTON — Seven US Senators have called on Scotland Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to keep the Lockerbie bomber behind bars amid prospects the cancer-stricken Libyan agent may be freed early.
"Until the tragic events of September 11, 2001, no terrorist act had killed more American civilians," they wrote in a letter AFP obtained Tuesday. "We believe he should remain in Scotland to complete his sentence in prison."
Democratic Senators John Kerry, who leads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Ted Kennedy, Frank Lautenberg, Robert Menendez, Chuck Schumer, Kirsten Gillibrand and Patrick Leahy signed the letter.
MacAskill is mulling two options for Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, convicted in 2001 over the 1988 bombing which killed 270 people: either transferring him to a Libyan jail, or releasing him on compassionate grounds, as he is dying of prostate cancer.
But President Barack Obama's administration and leading lawmakers have heaped pressure on Scotland not to free Megrahi.
"The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie was an attack on America and a horrific act of international terrorism," the senators wrote MacAskill on Monday.
"We know that the Scottish government shares our commitment -- and the world's -- to support justice and oppose acts of terrorism. That is why we urge you to ensure that Abdel Basset al-Megrahi serves the remainder of his sentence in prison in Scotland," they said.
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