Hague warning over Downing Street Lockerbie letter

By Liz Stephens

William Hague has written to David Miliband for clarification after it emerged Libyan television reported a letter had been received by Colonel Gaddafi from Gordon Brown.

The letter was allegedly delivered by Bill Rammell during his visit to Tripoli in February and the Libyan TV report was circulated around the BBC at the time.

The shadow foreign secretary has written to the foreign secretary for clarification on the contents of the letter and whether it contained any assurances regarding the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Mr Hague has also asked for clarification over whether assurances were given to the US that Megrahi would serve out his sentence in Scotland.

Mr Hague quoted US Justice Department spokesman Richard Kolbo, who said in an email that the US had “received assurances in the 1990s that Megrahi’s full sentence would be served in Scotland”.

The news comes as it was revealed that Colonel Gaddafi will be addressing the UN General Assembly in New York in September.

He is also expected to make a speech on nuclear non-proliferation at the UN Security Council.

US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, warned that the visit of the Libyan leader was likely to cause further anger in the US, where emotions are already running high among the victims families over the compassionate release of Megrahi.

“It goes without saying that virtually every American has been offended by the reception accorded to Mr Megrahi in Libya upon his return from the UK,” she said.

“This is a very raw and sensitive subject for all Americans, having lost 270 of our compatriots in a terrorist act.”

Megrahi’s health has reportedly deteriorated in the last few days according to Libyan officials.

Yesterday the Scottish parliament voted to reject the Scottish government’s decision to release Megrahi.