By Lily Kuo, Reuters
NEW YORK — Families of U.S. victims of the 1988 bombing of a PanAm flight over Lockerbie, Scotland, said on Sunday the death of the convicted bomber did not ease their loss and the White House said it would not end the quest for justice. Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, 60, the Libyan convicted of the bombing that killed 270 people, died at his home in the Libyan capital from complications from prostate cancer, his brother said on Sunday. “Megrahi’s death concludes an unfortunate chapter following his release from prison in 2009 on medical grounds — a move we strongly opposed,” White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in Chicago, where President Barack Obama was hosting a summit of NATO allies. Megrahi’s release on humanitarian grounds by Scottish officials infuriated families of the dead, 189 of whom were American, and drew sharp criticism from Washington after Megrahi arrived home in Libya to a hero’s welcome.
“We want to see justice for the victims of the Lockerbie bombing and their families. We will continue working with our new partners in Libya toward a full accounting of (Moammar) Gadhafi’s horrific acts,” Vietor said.
Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of blowing up the plane, which was flying from London to New York, killing all 259 aboard and 11 people in the town of Lockerbie. He was released from a Scottish prison in 2009 because he had cancer and was expected to live only a few months.