Disregarding U.S. Appeals, Libya Celebrates Freed Lockerbie Convict

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A month before Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi plans to visit the U.S. for the first time, his regime Thursday ignored President Obama’s direct appeal not to give the Libyan convicted for his role in the Lockerbie bombing a hero’s welcome on his return to Tripoli.

Former intelligence agent Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, freed by the Scottish authorities on compassionate grounds after serving just eight years of a life sentence, was flown home on Gaddafi’s jet, accompanied by Gaddafi’s son and possible heir.

In Tripoli, he was greeted on his arrival Thursday evening by thousands of jubilant Libyans. Patriotic music played, flower petals were thrown. Some in the celebratory crowd wore t-shirts bearing Megrahi’s picture, and Libyan and Scottish flags were waved.

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