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Default Lockerbie Bomber released, Families of victims upset
by StrawberrySun 08-25-2009, 09:56 AM

MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. The release from prison Thursday of the only person ever convicted in the 1988 bombing that killed 270 people aboard a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland angered and outraged victims' relatives, who said they were left feeling wronged again.

Abdel Baset al-Megrahi was released Thursday after serving eight years of a life sentence in a Scottish prison. Scottish officials said the former Libyan intelligence officer's prostate cancer was advancing and that they were bound by Scottish values to release him. He was recently given only months to live.

"I think it's horrible," said Kara Weipz of Mount Laurel, whose 20-year-old brother Richard Monetti was a Syracuse University student aboard the flight. "I don't show compassion for someone who showed no remorse."

The bombing turned the families of some of the 270 victims into activists who became deeply versed in terrorism policy, international relations, airline security and victim compensation.

The families, which organized as Victims of Pan Am Flight 103, has evolved from communicating through phone trees to keeping in touch through Facebook.

From the beginning, many were bitter that neither the United States nor other nations spoke out more strongly about the attack, although the White House on Thursday said Scotland should not have released him.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the United States had repeatedly asked Scotland to keep al-Megrahi in custody. "On this day, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families who live every day with the loss of their loved ones," Gibbs said.

The State Department released a brief statement by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is on vacation, saying she is "deeply disappointed" by the decision.

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., issued a statement saying that it's the victims who deserve compassion, not al-Megrahi.

"I think it's appalling, disgusting and so sickening I can hardly find words to describe it," said Susan Cohen of Cape May Court House, N.J., whose 20-year-old daughter Theodora died in the attack.

Cohen and other relatives said they believe he was released so world leaders could appease Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi because access to his nation's oil is so important.

"Lockerbie looks like it never happened now," she said. "There isn't anybody in prison for it."

The Times of London reported that al-Megrahi was to return to Libya in Gadhafi's jet something else the victims' families saw as an affront.

"As I'm watching him now (on television) getting ready to board a plane and go home to a parade, I'm getting angry," said Joanne Hartunian of Delmar, N.Y., who lost her daughter Lynne, a student at the State University at Oswego, N.Y. "And I didn't want to get angry. I didn't want to waste any more time thinking about this man."

Loulie Canady of Morgantown, W.Va, whose 25-year-old daughter Valerie was taking Flight 103 home to get married, also watched on television as the convict departed Glasgow. "I'm just sick at heart," she said.

In a way, Thursday's release closes the legal saga.

"Twenty years later, this is the last sad chapter where government leaders have no moral backbone," said Bert Ammerman of River Vale, whose brother Tom was killed on the flight.

Still, the victims group intends to go on.

Bob Monetti, a brother of Richard Monetti, said relatives of the victims would meet Friday to discuss what to do next. He said they expect to join protests next month when Gadhafi is scheduled to visit New York.

Rosemary Mild, of Severna Park, Md., whose 20-year-old daughter Miriam Luby Wolfe was a victim, wrote a book about the experience. She's now planning a new edition to add material about al-Megrahi's release.

Peter Sullivan, of Akron, Ohio, was a high school classmate of victim Mike Doyle in Cherry Hill, N.J., and his college roommate at the University of Dayton.

He said the criminal case does not have to end: "I would like to see the United States expeditiously indict al-Megrahi and seek his extradition for trial in the U.S. for the murder of 189 innocent Americans."

Not all the relatives thought the release was wrong.

"This is just one little thing that says this is not going to hurt any of us for him to be released and go die with his family," said Caroline Stevens of Little Rock, Ark., whose son Sandy Phillips, died in the bombing. "We've got to look at one another in a more compassionate way and not rely on war and revenge and all that."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090820/ap_on_...kerbie_families
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absolutely sickening, makes me sick to be british, only britain is this retarded and liberal.

disgusting
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total bullshit and i am embarrassed to be English.......................
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in fact as from now i am changing my nationality to Barbadian.............
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in fact as from now i am changing my nationality to Barbadian.............

Welcome :)

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