US offered to fund house arrest of Lockerbie bomber

Independent on Sunday:

Scottish ministers went ahead with the controversial decision to send the Lockerbie bomber back to Libya despite an American offer to bankroll his "house arrest" in the United Kingdom, it emerged last night.

US officials had "very reluctantly" backed a proposal to move Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi from Greenock Prison into some kind of high-security accommodation elsewhere in Scotland, senior government sources on both sides of the Atlantic confirmed. But the Americans had only consented to the option in a desperate attempt to deter the Scottish Executive from releasing Mr Megrahi on compassionate grounds – due to his terminal prostate cancer – and sending him home to die.

They also made it clear that the US would be willing to contribute millions of dollars to a complicated house arrest operation that would demand round-the-clock security to keep the prisoner under guard and protect him from attack.

But the Scottish National Party administration in Edinburgh eventually chose the option of compassionate release, claiming police chiefs had ruled that the security implications of house arrest would be "severe". However, Strathclyde Police last week denied making any judgement on the proposal, and claimed they had only told the Scottish government how many officers would be needed.

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I think this adds more credence to the suggestion in the post below that there was an oil deal riding on the return of the bomber to Libya.

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