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Brown accused of double dealing over release of Lockerbie bomber
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19:26, September 02, 2009

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British Prime Minister Gordon Brownwas accused of "double dealing" over the release of the Lockerbie bomber after notes of a meeting claiming he did not want Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to die in jail, local media reported on Wednesday.

During a meeting with Bill Rammell, then a British Foreign Office minister in Tripoli, Libyan Minister for Europe Abdulati Alobidi said the death of Megrahi in a Scottish prison would have catastrophic effects for the relationship between Libya and Britain.

The notes said Rammell stated that neither prime minister nor the foreign secretary would want Megrahi to pass away in prison.

It is a major setback for Downing Street, which insisted the release was entirely a matter of the Scottish government.

Brown has so far declined to comment on the document, but is expected to spell out later on Wednesday.

However, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband insisted thatthere had been no double dealing and no pressure placed on the Scottish government ahead of its decision to release Megrahi.

On Tuesday, the British government published correspondence with the Scottish government in a bid to refute allegations that the Lockerbie bomber's release was linked to a trade deal.

Megrahi was formally released on Aug. 20 in Edinburgh, where he had been jailed on charges of murdering 270 people, including 189 Americans when a Pan Am plane blew up over Lockerbie, southern Scotland, in December 1988.

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said the man, who had terminal cancer, was allowed to return home to die after serving eight years of a 27-year minimum sentence.

Megrahi reportedly flew out of Britain as a dying man deserving of compassion and landed in Libya as a national hero when thousands of people gathered at Tripoli airport to welcome him as he stepped down from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's private jet.

Source: Xinhua

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