09.22.09

SCHUMER: U.N. SHOULD CONDEMN QUADDAFI'S WELCOME HOME CELEBRATION FOR NOTORIOUS LOCKERBIE TERRORIST - URGES U.S. TO SPONSOR IMMEDIATE RESOLUTION

Schumer Sponsored Senate Resolution Demanding Apology from Libyan Government Set to Pass Senate This Week Renews Call on Leader to Make a Clear Apology and Keep a Very Low Profile During His NYC Visit

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On the eve of Libyan leader Muammar Quaddafi's arrival in New York City for the United National General Assembly, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today said the U.S. Senate is poised to pass a resolution this week condemning the release and vile "welcome home" celebration held for Libyan terrorist and convicted Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset alMegrahi.  AlMegrahi was released by the Scottish Government on August 20 after serving eight years in prison for the 1988 attack on Pan Am Flight 103, which killed all 259 people on board and 11 people on the ground in the town of Lockerbie, Scotland.  The Scottish Government claimed the release was a compassionate gesture given alMegrahi's failing health. Schumer will also call on Quaddafi to make a clear apology to the aggrieved families and keep a low profile during his visit.

 

"No stunts, no games is the message to Mr. Quaddafi as these families and friends have been through enough. The victims' families have had no peace since the day this evil act occurred and now their wounds have been reopened," said Schumer. "The hero's welcome Libya gave to this terrorist truly shocks the conscience and deserves a formal rebuke. It is outrageous that the Libyan Government would so blatantly disregard the suffering the families have endured for more than two decades. We demand an apology for the gross homecoming celebration of alMegrahi."

 

On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103, enroute from London's Healthrow Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, exploded over the town of Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 259 on board and 11 people on the ground.  Many NewYorkers and New Jersey residents were among the 189 Americans killed in the bombing.  In 2001, Abdel Baset alMegrahi was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. 

On August 20, the Scottish Government released alMegrahi, who is currently suffering from prostate cancer and is predicted to have three months to live.  Upon his return, thousands of young men, who had been transported by the Libyan government, gathered at the airport in Tripoli to greet the terrorist.  They waved banners and threw flower petals after alMegrahi was escorted from prison by Seif alIslam elQaddafi, the son of the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qaddafi. 

The resolution is coauthored by Frank Lautenberg (DNJ), Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (DNY), Robert Menendez (DNJ), Ben Cardin (DMD), Barbara Mikulski (DMD), Robert Casey (DPA), Claire McCaskill (DMO), George Voinivich (ROH), and Jim Webb (DVA).



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