MPs say ministers overlooked human rights in rush to seal deal 
 Clinton: It would be absolutely wrong to release Megrahi


Gordon Brown has been accused of rushing through the ratification of a treaty with Tripoli that could pave the way for the repatriation of the Lockerbie bomber as part of a British push to protect oil interests in Libya.

Amid signs that a decision on the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi could be made within days, senior MPs and peers said ministers in London had overlooked human rights in their haste to ratify the agreement.

Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice secretary, is poised to decide whether Megrahi, who has terminal prostate cancer, should be allowed to return home on compassionate grounds. The former Libyan intelligence agent, 57, is serving a life sentence with a minimum term of 27 years after being convicted in 2001 of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people.

Overnight, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, also piled more pressure on the Scottish government saying it would be "absolutely wrong" to release Megrahi, adding: "We are still encouraging the Scottish authorities not to do so and we hope that they will not."

Clinton has already called MacAskill to say Megrahi should serve out his sentence in Scotland.


After the bomber's appeal hearing, she told US reporters: "I just think it is absolutely wrong to release someone who has been imprisoned based on the evidence about his involvement in such a horrendous crime."