The imprisonment of an apparently innocent man and the cold denial of justice to the passengers on Pan Am Flight 103 and their bereaved family is well-documented and anyone looking for comprehensive coverage can do so through “The Lockerbie Case”. (An excellent website created by Professor Black, a law professor responsible for helping set up Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, where Al-Magrahi and another Libyan, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, were put on trial. Professor black later became concerned with how the trial and later events actually unfolded). What concerns us here, however, is the under-reported threat that British workers (especially teachers for the British Council) would have faced, had Al-Megrahi died in prison.
Clearly, the foreign office were aware of this threat but, as far as we are aware, no attempt was made to warn potential recruits to the British Council in Libya or to stop the recruitment campaign itself. This is crucial given the fact that the British Council has been spearheading various initiatives to improve trade relations with the Libya and promote British interests. Key amongst these initiatives has been the Orwellian named “Peacekeeping English Project” (PEP), funded directly through the UK Ministry of Defence, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Department for International Development.
Being as Libya had, most likely, little or nothing to do with the Lockerbie bombing, it is no surprise that its people feel harshly treated in that they had to hand over two citizens to face trumped up charges and, furthermore, pay substantial compensation to the victims’ families (the US demanding 10 million dollars each). Had the Libyans not done this the country would have been subject to crippling international sanctions orchestrated by Britain and the US.
As the Family of PC Yvonne Fletcher can testify, Libyan leader, Colonel Gadhafi is a man who bears grudges and he is not concerned with who might get hurt in his bid to see his view of justice done. Thus in the case of six Bulgarian nurses “convicted” of deliberately infecting Libyan children with HIV, Gadhafi was quick to link the their case to that of Lockerbie. Not surprisingly, the mother of Kristiyana Vulcheva (one of the Bulgarian nurses imprisoned) pleaded with the UK and the US: “We are sending our plea to the British government and the victims of Lockerbie. We are well aware the issue is painful to all, but in the name of the most humane of the professions we ask them to be merciful and let Megrahi go.” And the compensation demaded by the Libyans for the families of the victims of the nurses’ actions? 10 million each. What a surprise figure.