Lockerbie parents slam convict release plans

Marc Tager was killed in the Lockerbie bombing in 1988

Marc Tager was killed in the Lockerbie bombing in 1988

The parents of Lockerbie victim Marc Tager believe it would be "ridiculous" to release on compassionate grounds the Libyan man convicted of the bombing.

Michael and Birthe Tager, of Hendon, north west London, said it would be wrong to free Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, who is serving life in a Scottish jail for murdering 270 people aboard Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988.

He is suffering from terminal prostate cancer and is believed to be in a grave condition, close to death.
On Tuesday, the High Court in Edinburgh agreed to al-Megrahi’s request to drop his legal appeal to clear his name, removing an obstacle to his being released to die at home in Libya.

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill is expected to decide within two weeks whether to release him, or order his transfer to a prison in his home country.

Mr Tager, a member of North Hendon Adath Yisroel Synagogue, said: “It’s difficult to know how we feel. On one hand he [al-Megrahi] was obviously involved, but he was not the brains behind it.

“To let him out for sympathy reasons is ridiculous when so many people were killed and so many families lost relatives.

“The sad thing is we will never get to the bottom of what happened and why it happened.”

To let him out for sympathy reasons is ridiculous when so many people were killed and so many families lost relatives.

Michael Tager

Mrs Tager added: “We think the same as all the English people; it was not him. There were many people behind him.”

Marc was a 22-year-old member of Finchley Synagogue and an active charity and youth worker when he was killed. He had helped establish a JNF committee.

Following his death, money was raised to open a sports centre in his name in Upper Nazareth, in the Galilee region of northern Israel.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and a number of US senators, have warned Mr MacAskill that it would be “absolutely wrong” to free al-Megrahi.

A number of American Jews and an Israeli were also on board the jet.

Last updated: 12:43pm, August 19 2009