Mandela in Scotland; plans to visit Libyan found guilty of Lockerbie Pan Am bombing
South African former president Nelson Mandela was to be in Scotland Monday to visit Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan found guilty of the Lockerbie bombing and sentenced to life in jail in January 2001, the Scottish authorities announced.
A Scottish Executive spokeswoman said late Sunday, "We understand that Mr. Mandela is arriving at Barlinnie to visit Al Megrahi tomorrow morning."
A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman confirmed that security arrangements were in place for Mandela visiting Glasgow.
Mandela was to examine the conditions of Megrahi's detention at Barlinnie prison in Glasgow.
The Scottish Prison Service declined to comment on the visit. "We don't discuss visits to individual prisoners," said a spokeswoman, according to AFP.
Last week, Mandela's spokeswoman Zelda Lagrange had announced that he wanted to travel to Scotland. She said that, "Mr. Mandela has been closely involved in the case and he wants to see how the prisoner is doing and what the conditions in the prison are like."
The former president had also been in touch with Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi about Megrahi's case, she added.
Mandela, who spent over two decades himself in prison under the apartheid regime, played a key role in persuading Libya to hand over the two men suspected of involvement in the Lockerbie bombing.
The second suspect, Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, was acquitted by a Scottish court set up in the Netherlands. (albawaba.com)
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