I am appalled by the Scottish government's decision to free Abdel Baset al-Megrah, the Libyan who was found guilty of the Lockerbie bombing, on "compassionate grounds" as he is dying from cancer.
Compassionate grounds? Where is the justice here? Why should this man, who was convicted in 2001 of taking part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, when it exploded over Scotland on December 21, 1988. All 289 passengers and crew aboard the plane were killed. Eleven people on the ground in Lockerbie were also killed.
Al-Megrah served only eight years of his life sentence. I applaud the White House and other U.S. officials for condemning this release.
I lost a co-worker on this flight. John Mulroy, 59, who was Associated Press' director of international communications, was on board that plane with five members of his family. I worked for AP at the time, as a news librarian. John's office was across from the library, and he often came in to visit, and ask me for help. We both left the office at 5:30 on Monday, December 19, and we got on the elevator at the same time. I noticed he was carrying a small suitcase, and he said he was going to London. I pouted, and said, wish I were coming too. He smiled and said that it was to be a short trip and he would be back by the end of the week. "and I won't forget your Smarties, " he said.
I told him to have a safe trip.
The Associated Press began reporting on a missing Pan Am Flight on Wednesday afternoon. The next morning, as I came into the office, my boss took me aside to tell me that John was on the plane that went down in Scotland.
John Mulroy joined the AP in 1984 after spending 25 years with Pan Am as their director of communications. He was returning to New York with his son, Sean and daughter-in-law, Ingrid, who lived in Sweden, and his sister, Bridget, and her husband and son. The entire family planned to celebrate the Christmas holidays together. John was survived by his wife, Josephine, of East Northport, New York, and a daughter, Siobhan and son, Brendan.
Compassionate grounds! Where was the compassion by al-Megrah, when he took part in a terrorist attack that took the lives of more than 300 people?
What about justice for the victims?