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US angered by Lockerbie release -

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EDMOND ROY: The terminally ill Libyan man convicted over the Lockerbie bombing has arrived back in
Tripoli to a hero's welcome. He wsa freed on compassionate grounds by the Scottish Government
despite fierce US opposition.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the only person convicted of the bombing, has just months to

From Washington, John Shovelan reports.

(Sound of horns beeping)

JOHN SHOVELAN: Several hundred jubilant supporters cheered and waved flags as the terminally ill
Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing arrived at Tripoli airport.

Megrahi emerged from the plane his hand held by Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's son who was in the
delegation that flew to Scotland to bring him home.

Just earlier today through its embassy in Tripoli the US Government had urged the Libyan Government
to immediately place Megrahi under house arrest.

State Department spokesman PJ Crowley warned Libya that future relations with Washington would
hinge on how the Libyans handle Megrahi's return.

PJ CROWLEY: What happens when he returns to Libya will have an influence on the future direction of
our relationship.

One-hundred-and-eighty-nine of the 270 people killed on Pan Am flight 103 were Americans, many of
them young.

The bombing over Lockerbie in Scotland on December 21st 1988 was the worst terrorist attack
committed in Britain.

And Megrahi who worked for the Libyan secret service was the only person convicted although no one
believes he acted alone. He was tried under Scottish law in the Netherlands and was convicted in

There is widespread anger across the US at the Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill's
decision to release him on compassionate grounds.

SUSAN COHEN: They didn't have to release him. This is not a typical case and he's not just one of
the people, Megrahi is the only person who was found guilty for this and who is now being let out.

So now there's nobody. There's not only not a shred of justice, there's no sign Lockerbie ever

Susan Cohen lost her only child in the bombing.

SUSAN COHEN: It is absolutely sickening. When you say compassion I feel ill. I feel physically ill.
That is the most misplaced compassion I can imagine. I mean we could weep couldn't we for poor old
Adolph Hitler there.

JOHN SHOVELAN: But Mr MacAskill says he had no choice.

KENNY MCCASKILL: I have decided to allow him to go home to die. I am showing his family some
compassion. I accept it was a compassion not shown to families in the United States or in Scotland.
But we have values, we will not debase them and we will seek to live up to those values of humanity
that we pride ourselves on.

JOHN SHOVELAN: President Barack Obama urged the Libyan Government to detain Megrahi once he arrived

BARACK OBAMA: We are now in contact with the Libyan Government and want to make sure that he is not
welcomed back in some way but instead should be under house arrest.

JOHN SHOVELAN: But given the loudspeakers pumping out patriotic music at his arrival and the
celebrations in Tripoli detention seems very unlikely.

John Shovelan, Washington.