Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the terminally ill convicted Lockerbie bomber, has been released from Greenock prison in Scotland. After spending no more than a fortnight in custody for each of the 270 victims killed in the 1988 Panam flight 103 bombing, the Libyan Arab terrorist has been returned home to Tripoli where he was cheered by 1000's of his fellow countrymen, proving correct the mother of one of his victims: Susan Cohen, who lost her 20-year-old daughter in the attack, is reported to have said in response to recent rumors ahead of the impending release, "If you send him back, he will be a hero and Gaddafi will be able to forget the whole thing."
Under a deal struck between former PM Tony Blair and the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi in 2008, the release takes the UK's NHS off the hook for footing the bill for al-Megrahi's hospital care for his terminal prostate cancer. The NHS, suffering itself from crippling cost overruns was no doubt cheering politely along with the raucous Libyan mob at the move, over the savings that will be realised. Further, no UK funds will need be expended on a proper Islamic burial for Mr. al-Megrahi, either.
He was allowed to return home on compassionate grounds Scottish officials said, after doctors said he is suffering from terminal prostate cancer and may have only three months to live.
Al-Megrahi, 57, served only eight years of the life sentence imposed after his 2001 conviction.
He was released over the objections of Australian and U.S. officials, who obviously have no concern for the problems of socialised medicine in the UK. Most of the victims were U.S. citizens on their way home for Christmas.