Brown denies "double-dealing" in Lockerbie case

Brown denies "double-dealing" in Lockerbie case

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday that his government had put no pressure on Scotland to release the dying Lockerbie bomber early to improve Britain's trade links with Libya, Reuters reported.

Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, terminally ill with prostate cancer, was flown home to Libya last month and has been moved to a hospital emergency room "in a bad way," a Libyan official told Reuters on condition of anonymity on Wednesday.

His release angered Washington and many relatives of victims of the attack, and triggered accusations that Britain had put pressure on the Scottish government to release Megrahi to help British companies win trade deals with the country that has Africa's biggest proven oil reserves.

Brown said he had made it clear to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that it was up to the Scottish government to decide whether to free Megrahi. Scotland has its own judicial system.

"On our part, there was no conspiracy, no cover-up, no double-dealing, no deal on oil, no attempt to instruct Scottish ministers, no private assurances by me to Colonel Gaddafi," he said at an employment conference in Birmingham, central England.

Megrahi, the only person to have been convicted over the killing of 270 people in the bombing of a Pan Am passenger plane over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988, was serving a life sentence. Scotland freed him on compassionate grounds.

The Scottish government came under fire over its decision to allow Megrahi to return to Libya, losing a vote in the Scottish parliament by 73 votes to 50. But the defeat will not bring down the government.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Britain had told Libya it did not want Megrahi to die in prison but denied putting pressure on the Scottish government.

"We did not want him to die in prison. No, we weren't seeking his death in prison," Miliband told BBC radio. "At every stage we said this is a matter for the Scottish government."

Documents released by the Scottish government showed Libyan officials had warned London the death of Megrahi in a Scottish prison would have "catastrophic effects for the relationship between Libya and Britain."

British firms have become heavily involved in exploring for hydrocarbons in Libya since U.N. sanctions were lifted in 2003 and political patronage remains important for doing business in the north African state.

A U.S. lawyer representing victims' families said he would file a lawsuit under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act to try to force the U.S. government to release documents on any agreements or discussions with Britain about the Lockerbie case.

"I would call upon both governments to start releasing their substantive investigative files to give evidence as to exactly what role Megrahi played and anyone else involved with the bombing," lawyer Mark Zaid told BBC News.

Opposition Conservative leader David Cameron, who leads in the polls less than a year before a British election, said Megrahi should not have been freed.

He accused the British government of a "catastrophic misjudgment" and said there should be an inquiry into the facts surrounding Megrahi's release.

"We are now in a shambolic situation where the government has upset one of our most important allies," Cameron told BBC radio. "They stand accused of double-dealing, saying one thing to the Libyans and something else to the Americans."

Brown has condemned the rapturous welcome given to Megrahi on his return to Tripoli, but has not said whether he agreed with the decision to free him.

Pictures of Megrahi's arrival were projected onto a giant screen in Tripoli on Tuesday during celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of Gaddafi's coup in 1969.

There were few further details on Megrahi's condition on Wednesday. A spokesman for Tripoli Medical Center, where Megrahi has been for several days, said he was too ill to speak.

"Because of the treatment he is receiving, his immune system is very weak and he cannot speak to anyone today," hospital spokesman Omar Senoussi said.

Sudan becomes third Arab state to set aside hostilities with Israel this year
Sudan becomes third Arab state to set aside hostilities with Israel this year
Israeli aircraft attack Gaza military sites in response to rockets firing
Israeli aircraft attack Gaza military sites in response to rockets firing
Israel says Gazan militants fire 2 rockets into southern Israel
Israel says Gazan militants fire 2 rockets into southern Israel
Loading Bars
France becomes 2nd EU country with over 1 mln COVID-19 cases, record daily caseloads haunting Europe
Palestinians condemn normalization agreement between Sudan, Israel
New York early voting starts on Saturday, 1st time in its history
McDonald's urges dismissal of Black former franchisees' discrimination lawsuit
Sudan becomes third Arab state to set aside hostilities with Israel this year
Artillery units, command post of Armenian armed forces destroyed as result of airstrikes (VIDEO)
Jeyhun Bayramov met with assistant to President for US National Security Affairs
Military volunteers, equipment of Armenian Armed Forces destroyed in directions of Khojavend, Fuzuli (VİDEO)
UAVs of Azerbaijan do not conduct flight over territory of Armenia - MoD
Azerbaijan has enough armored vehicles in its arsenal, uses them in operational situations - MoD
Information on alleged artillery shelling of Khankendi and Khojavend districts by Azerbaijan - not true
Chairperson, deputy chairperson of US - Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association appeal to US Secretary of State
Yerevan not interested in peace, wants to escalate conflict, make it a regional one, says Azerbaijani's First VP
Information spread by Armenian side on Iran's artillery shelling Azerbaijan’s positions - false
Turkey reduces volume of exports of mining industry
Iran discloses value of exports from Tehran Province
Georgia increases import of ground and instant coffee
Japan plans to recruit astronauts in 2021, first time in 13 yrs
Kazakhstan increases exports to Denmark despite COVID-19
Azerbaijani FM talks Karabakh conflict with US Secretary of State
Azerbaijani Bank of Baku's net profit declines multifold
Member of UK’s House of Lords condemns Armenia’s missile attacks on Azerbaijan’s Ganja
Rejection of UN’s unfair statement – another diplomatic victory for Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijani Xalq Bank's income for 9M2020 published
Data on cargo handling from US via Turkish ports for 9M2020 revealed
Azerbaijani soldiers liberate cities, settlements from occupation one after another - First VP
Export of cars from Turkey to Russia down – Trade ministry
Export of cars from Turkey to Turkmenistan drops
Export of cars from Turkey to Tajikistan down
Export of cars from Turkey to Ukraine up – Trade ministry
Armenia attracting mercenaries to occupied territories of Azerbaijan
Targeting Azerbaijani civilians by Armenia - crime, says Uzbek ambassador
Azerbaijani MoD shows footage of liberated Minbashyly village in Jabrayil district (VIDEO)
Cabinet of Ministers bans entry/exit to several Azerbaijani cities and districts
Armenia poses threat to Trans-Caspian International Transport Route
Azerbaijan's Xalq Bank discloses its assets for 9M2020
Payments with foreign cards down in Georgia
Export operations between Azerbaijan and Croatia double
New terminal to be built in Georgia's Poti port
Azerbaijani Prosecutor General's Office gives updates on damages, following Armenia's attacks
Meeting between Azerbaijani FM and US secretary of state held
Kazakhstan's import from Poland down amid COVID-19
ADB supports Georgia in its COVID-19 fight
Azerbaijan, Latvia keen to increase mutual investments (PHOTO)
Russian president's statement on Karabakh generally suits Azerbaijan - deputy parliament speaker
Armenians threatening to kill French TV channel's journalist (PHOTOS)
ISET-PI thnk-tank updates its real GDP growth forecast for Georgia
Azerbaijan's troops liberate villages in Khojavend, Jabrayil, Zangilan districts
Azerbaijan liberates 4 Gubadli district villages from Armenia's occupation
Georgia to allocate funds for marketing of its wine
EAEU reveals volume of food oil exports to Turkmenistan
Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Countries supports Azerbaijan
Georgia to issue agricultural loans to promote primary production of annual crops
Turkmenistan's Turkmennebit opens tender for purchase of pipes
Uzbekistan to maintain positive GDP growth despite difficult economic conditions
Uzbekistan’s National Bank likely to be backed by gov't, Fitch Ratings says
Azerbaijani people trust their president - First VP Mehriban Aliyeva
Percentage share of Austria in Azerbaijan's total import slightly grows
Kazakhstan’s KazMunayGas receives ESG rating in sustainable development
Chairman of US Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association appeals to US Ambassador in Azerbaijan
Surrendered Armenian officer says Karabakh isn't Armenian land
Armenian armed forces' manpower, armored vehicles destroyed, says Azerbaijani MoD (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan itself doing what Minsk Group didn’t - MP
Inflow of funds to Georgia up
Kazakhstan must invest in agriculture technologies oriented towards Kazakh reality
Israel sends humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Uzbek import of cars from Turkey shrinks
Ballistic missile attacks on Gabala and other Azerbaijani cities - vandalism and fascism of Armenian leadership - People's Artist
Volume of nine-month cargo shipment from Germany via Turkish ports revealed
Iran to implement second phase of ring road around Hormoz Island
Turkmengas to buy geophysical equipment via tender
New buses to start serving passengers in Georgian Tbilisi
Deutsche Bank: Brexit trade costs will be 'material' deal or no deal
Metallurgical products import to Uzbekistan to be reduced via metallurgical plant in Tashkent
Stable basic export rate could help boost Iran's exports
Iran to settle all wheat farmers' claims
WB implements new project in Georgia
President Aliyev holds phone conversation with father of National Hero of Azerbaijan Shukur Hamidov
Iran plans to establish trade centers
New company admitted to Baku Stock Exchange
Shukur Hamidov's name will be immortalized in Gubadli district
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for October 23
Iran increases number of emergency beds in hospitals
Ambassador welcomes liberation of Azerbaijan's Agbend settlement on border with Iran
Turkey hopes for achieving success in Karabakh conflict settlement together with Russia - Erdogan
Putin's comments were response to those taking anti-Azerbaijani position, analyst says
Kazakhstan's postal service operator to buy petrol via tender
Discussions on Karabakh conflict held at UN Security Council 25 years later - Assistant to Azerbaijani president
Export of cars to Kyrgyzstan spiked - Turkish Ministry of Trade
Turkmenistan increases fruit imports from EAEU countries
It's incorrect to talk about CSTO's help, while conflict taking place in Karabakh - Russian MFA
Azerbaijan confirms 212 more COVID-19 recoveries
No objective benefit for NATO's open support to any party of Karabakh conflict - Russian expert
Georgia reveals total projected harvest of grapes in 2020
Gold, silver prices in Azerbaijan down
Armenia carries out eco-terrorism against Azerbaijan
Georgia names number of beneficiaries received discount cards under agro-diesel promotion program
Captured Armenian soldier admits presence of foreign mercenaries in Armenia (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijani media working hard in information space, demonstrating objectivity, accuracy - MP
Daimler lifts profit forecast as China snaps up luxury cars
All news