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More questions over Lockerbie release -

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ELEANOR HALL: The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is adamant that his Government was not
involved in any double dealing over the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

But pressure is growing on his Government with a US lawyer representing the families of Lockerbie
victims threatening legal action to bring all government correspondence on the matter into the

The latest allegation is that despite assurances to the US authorities British politicians told
Libyan leaders they not want the Libyan prisoner to die in a British jail.

And Britain's Opposition leader is now warning that the Prime Minister's handling of the matter
will damage British relations with the United States for years to come.

Stephanie Kennedy has our report from London.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: In Tripoli Libya marked the 40th anniversary of the bloodless coup that brought
Colonel Gaddafi to power with a lavish show that paid homage to the leader himself.

The evening featured a sound and light spectacular and a video clip of the jubilant return of Abdel
Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.

But thousands of kilometres away the release of al-Megrahi continues to haunt the British
Government over allegations of a secret deal with Libya.

The Foreign Minister David Miliband confirmed to the BBC that a junior minister told Libya that
both he and the Prime Minister Gordon Brown did not want the Lockerbie bomber to die in a Scottish

DAVID MILIBAND: He was expressing the view that he had to give from the British Government in
answer to a question.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: And now the Opposition wants to know more. The Conservative leader is David

DAVID CAMERON: The double dealing is quite straight forward. The accusation is that they said one
thing to the Libyans, we don't want this man to die in prison, and yet the British Government had
pretty consistently said to the Americans, said to the Americans that this man would serve his
sentence in Scotland.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: The Prime Minister has been under attack for not the addressing the issue but
overnight Gordon Brown came out fighting.

GORDON BROWN: There was no conspiracy, no cover-up, no double dealing, no deal on oil, no attempt
to instruct Scottish ministers, no private assurances by me to Colonel Gaddafi.

We were absolutely clear throughout with the Libyans and everyone else that this was a decision for
the Scottish Government.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: And Gordon Brown went on to explain that the al-Megrahi case was part of the
wider negotiations to bring Libya back into the international community. It wasn't about oil but
rather the fight against terrorism and nuclear proliferation.

But for the Americans the British Government's diplomatic manoeuvrings are untenable.

DAVID RIVKIN: But I really cannot think about a more duplicitous act by Britain vis-a-vis the
United States in a post-war period.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: David Rivkin is a former US Justice department official.

DAVID RIVKIN: It was clear that the British Government at the highest level wanted to please Libya
by letting Mr al-Megrahi get out of prison. That's total nonsense. The man has been convicted to a
substantial term imprisonment.

Britain made promises to its longest and best diplomatic partner that they would actually, they
would on behalf of this joint responsibility to the victims, would ensure the sentence and carry it

And then they are telling Libyans at the highest level that they don't to die him in prison. Those
two statements are absolutely irreconcilable and may sound like a small thing to a lot of your
listeners but let me tell you, it is going to damage US relations with Britain for years to come.

STEPHANIE KENNEDY: In London this is Stephanie Kennedy reporting for The World Today.