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Monday, 17 June, 2002, 10:37 GMT 11:37 UK
Politicians meet Lockerbie bomber
Barlinnie
The Libyans visited Megrahi in Barlinnie
The Lockerbie bomber has been visited behind bars by a party of Libyan politicians who are due to hold talks with British MPs.

The delegation made a low-key visit to Glasgow's Barlinnie Prison just days after former South African President Nelson Mandela.

Mr Mandela, who helped broker the Lockerbie trial, wanted to check the conditions in which Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi is being held.

Megrahi was moved to the jail in March when he lost an appeal against his murder conviction for smuggling a bomb aboard Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie in 1988, with the loss of 270 lives.

Abdelbaset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi
Megrahi was taken to Barlinnie in March

Labour MP Tam Dalyell, who believes Megrahi is innocent, said the delegation met the Libyan secret agent on Sunday, before starting an official visit to meet MPs.

The seven-strong group, led by Suleiman Sasi Al-Shahoumi, foreign affairs secretary in the General People's Congress, is due to meet Foreign Office ministers as well as MPs and peers from all political parties.

They are also expected to watch Prime Minister's Question Time in the House of Commons and attend a reception hosted by the Speaker, Michael Martin.

Moving to Scotland

It will be the first recorded Inter-Parliamentary Union by a Libyan delegation to the UK and follows a visit to Libya by four MPs, led by Mr Dalyell, in March last year.

Meanwhile, Megrahi's wife, Aisha, is reported to have said she and her family are planning to move to Scotland from their home in Tripoli to be near the convicted bomber.

She told a newspaper: "Moving will be difficult. It is a different culture and a different language in Scotland. We will have no family here and no friends.

Tam Dalyell
Tam Dalyell went to Libya last year
"The children had nothing to do with Lockerbie but they are paying the price for a politically-motivated decision."

Mrs Megrahi also said her husband was in "good spirits" after meeting Mr Mandela for more than an hour in the Victorian prison.

She added: "My husband is innocent, and my only wish is that his name is cleared and he can come back home.

"That is also the wish of his sick mother. She is very old and not well and has not seen her son for four years.

"But he does not want to see her while he is in prison. It would be too much for her."

Lockerbie megapuff graphic

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15 Jun 02 | Scotland
11 Jun 02 | Scotland
10 Jun 02 | Scotland
25 Apr 02 | Scotland
16 Apr 02 | Scotland
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