Mandela to visit Libyan jailed over Lockerbie affair

Tripoli- Libya (PANA) -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela plans to visit Libyan national Abdelbasset Al-Megrahi, who is serving life jail in Britain over the 1988 downing of US Pan-Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, the Libyan News Agency (JANA) has reported.
JANA reported Tuesday that Mandela disclosed his plan in a telephone conversation with Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Kadhafi.
The former South African leader is to enquire after Al-Megrahi's health and ensure that the conditions of his detention are in conformity with the extradition agreement, the report added.
Al-Megrahi was conviction by a Scottish Court over the downing of the US airliner in December 1988, that killed 270 people.
Mandela, in collaboration with Saudi authorities, played a key role at ending the deadlock in the so-called "Lockerbie" case in March 1999, while he was still South African President.
He strongly criticised Washington and London for refusing to lift the sanctions imposed on Libya even after the country had met the conditions agreed by producing Libyan nationals for trial over the case.
Mandela was said to have expressed the hope that the prisoner would be released, since "everybody has come to realise that he was sentenced under the weight of political pressure and not on the basis of legal considerations.
" During his discussions with Kadhafi, Mandela reaffirmed his commitment to pursue contacts "with all the parties concerned in the case," JANA added.
A second Libyan national tried over the case was acquitted.

05 june 2002 11:04:00

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