The Libyan man jailed in Scotland for blowing up a US airliner over Lockerbie in 1988 has returned to his home in Libya after being set free. This sparked angry reactions among the relatives of the victims of PAN-AM flight as well as from different political figures
The release of Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi is the best gift for Colonel Gaddafi who is going to celebrate his 40th year in power. (He came to power on September 1st, 1969).
Actually, as the bereaved have the right to vent anger at his release, the Libyans also have the right to express joy for the release of their countryman. Some expected a subdued return. But from the start his release was spectacular as he was returned to Libya on Gaddafi’s private plane which was allowed to land on Scotland.
From the start, it was said that he was going to Libya to meet his family. In the Libyan context, all the Libyans are his family. After all, it seems ridiculous to give importance to the welcome Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi received when his conviction has become a closed chapter. Now, he is a free man and the Libyans are free to reserve him whatever welcome they consider as fit.
The release of Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi was a golden handshake for the Libyan regime. It is the reward for what had been going behind the scenes. It was a kind of give-and-take arrangement. So why should the jubilant popular celebration in Libya be seen a slap in the face of the world? It is like being angry at a person receiving pardon for a (heinous) crime and going to a pub to celebrate his release with his friends.