Updated 08/20/2009 12:27 PM
Court Releases Convicted Pan Am Flight 103 Bomber
The Scottish government released the man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that killed 270 people.
Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi had served only eight years of a life sentence in Scotland for the December 21, 1988, bombing over the town of Lockerbie.
Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny Macaskill said the order to release Al-Megrahi grew out of the convicted bomber's deteriorating health. He has prostate cancer and is not expected to live much longer.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the United States had repeatedly asked Scotland to keep Al-Megrahi in custody, and extended the nation's sympathy to family members of the Flight 103 victims.
Shortly after his release, Al-Megrahi boarded a plane in Glasgow bound for his native Libya.
Robert Hunt of Webster lost his daughter in the bombing. He said any sympathy over Al-Megrahi's condition is undone by what he did.
“I don't want anyone, even this mass murderer, to have a terminal disease like cancer, but he did murder 270 innocent civilians and any compassionate thought that may pass through my mind are quickly erased by the thought of those innocent people falling to their deaths from 31,000 feet above Lockerbie, Scotland," Hunt said.
Robert's daughter Karen was one of 35 Syracuse University students killed on their way home from a semester studying abroad.