Motive Still Questioned in Bomber Release

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Questions remain surrounding the release of the man convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
The attack killed 270 people-- mostly Americans-- yet Scotland freed Abdel Baset al-Megrahi to Libya before the end of his sentence for "compassionate reasons."
Now, both governments are trying to prove there was no ulterior motive.

Libyan officials said al-Megrahi's health is rapidly declining as he suffers from terminal prostate cancer.  As a result, Scottish authorities allowed him to walk away from a life in prison.
That decision angered people around the world and accusations have been made that al-Megrahi's release was connected to a secret trade deal with Libya. 
In response to pressure, U.K. authorities released to the public internal documents on turning the bomber over to Libya.

"We have nothing to hide and we are acting according to due process," said Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny Macaskill.

Still, not everyone is convinced.
In one letter, British officials agreed to include al-Megrahi in a prisoner exchange program "in view of the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom." 
Both British and Libyan officials said those interests were not commercial.

"Speaking on a deal, it makes me laugh," said Mohammed Siala, Libyan secretary for international co-operation.

Yet, al-Megrahi recently dropped an appeal on his conviction even though he claims he was framed. 
Now, unseen documents on his case will never be released, potentially frustrating and confusing even more the families of those killed on Pan Am flight 103. 

There are also questions surrounding a $900 million deal between British petroleum and Libya.
British officials emphasize Libya is an important partner in the fight against terror and say forging a strong relationship with the U.K. benefits the international community as a whole.

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