From The Times with thanks to Alan:
THE man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing was implicated in the purchase and development of chemical weapons by Libya, according to documents produced by the American government.
The papers also claim that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed alMegrahi sought to buy 1,000 letter bombs from Greek arms dealers while working as a Libyan intelligence officer.
The documents, prepared by the US State Department, raise further questions about the wisdom of the Scottish government in releasing the convicted bomber on compassionate grounds in August.
The documents, written in 1992, were based on information gathered by the Central Intelligence Agency to bolster the case against Libya for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 which killed 270 people.
They claim that Megrahi’s “deep involvement in Libya’s most sensitive, high-priority procurement operations indicates that he enjoyed the fullest confidence of Libya’s leadership”.
In 1987 Megrahi was appointed director of Libya’s Centre for Strategic Studies, a unit that served the military procurement department. The documents allege: “An alMegrahi subordinate operating in Germany in 1988 played an important role in acquiring and shipping chemical weapons precursors to Libya.
“Al-Megrahi is also linked to a senior manager of Libya’s chemical weapons development programme.”
Colonel Gadaffi, the Libyan leader, was suspected of seeking to stockpile chemical and biological weapons. In the 1980s the government of Chad accused Libya of using mustard gas and napalm against its forces. The documents also allege that Megrahi “met Greek arms dealers and expressed an interest in acquiring 1,000 letter bombs and associated technical equipment”.
In naming him as a prime suspect for the Lockerbie bombing, the documents conclude: “Megrahi ... acted with the approval of the highest levels of the Libyan government”.
Megrahi was freed from prison in Greenock on August 20 after Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice minister, received advice that he was terminally ill with prostate cancer. Since Megrahi has survived for more than the three months that he was expected to live, some American relatives of the victims of the atrocity are demanding that he be returned.
Tony Kelly, Megrahi’s lawyer in Scotland, said of the documents: “If there was any evidence backing any of this up I am absolutely certain it would have been introduced at trial and it wasn’t. I think you’re just left with it being unsubstantiated and unattributed intelligence rumours.”
A spokesman for the US State Department said: “We maintain our position that Megrahi should have served out the entirety of his sentence in Scotland for his part in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103.”