Washington -- As news reports suggest Megrahi is again nearing death and his brother claims the Lockerbie case is over, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today asked U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to call on the Transitional National Council (TNC) to immediately provide American and international officials access to him.

In a letter to Secretary Clinton Menendez wrote: "Given that we have been told before that Megrahi was near death when he actually was not, I urge you to call on the TNC to allow American and international officials access to Megrahi immediately in order to conduct an independent assessment of his health status. Then, if or when feasible, begin direct questioning of Megrahi as to the involvement of others in the Pan Am 103 bombing. I also urge you to insist that the TNC meet its commitment to cooperate with any U.S. investigations into the Pan Am bombing and other acts of terror by the Qaddafi regime against U.S. citizens."

Link to a PDF of the letter: http://menendez.senate.gov/download/?id=fe7558dc-2ebb-4767-bcd3-680df43d139b

The full text of Senator Mendendez's letter follows.

The Honorable Hilary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Clinton:

The families of Pan Am Flight 103 have been searching for justice and answers for more than twenty years, and other American victims of Libyan terrorism have been looking even longer.

As you are aware, the "compassionate release" of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi by the Scottish government was a grave miscarriage of justice that compounded the tragedy for the Pan Am families. While news reports suggest that Megrahi may be nearing death, he remains an important source of information about the Pan Am bombing. Megrahi was convicted of conspiracy for planting the bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 189 innocent Americans, but it has always been known that he did not act alone. We still do not know who ordered the bombing, who collected the intelligence to carry out the plan, who made the bomb and who - in addition to Megrahi - bears responsibility for this and other heinous attacks.

It is crucial that the Transitional National Council (TNC) provide access to Megrahi and that they adhere to the commitment they made during their May consultations with me in Washington, D.C. to cooperate with any United States investigation into the Pan Am bombing. The many unanswered questions around the Pan Am tragedy won't die with Megrahi, and the downfall of the Qaddafi government presents the first real opportunity to learn the truth about Qaddafi's terrorist activities and to bring Qaddafi, Megrahi, and other perpetrators of terrorism to justice.

I was disappointed to read reports that the TNC will ignore any requests to extradite Megrahi. Given that we have been told before that Megrahi was near death when he actually was not, I urge you to call on the TNC to allow American and international officials access to Megrahi immediately in order to conduct an independent assessment of his health status. Then, if or when feasible, begin direct questioning of Megrahi as to the involvement of others in the Pan Am 103 bombing. I also urge you to insist that the TNC meet its commitment to cooperate with any U.S. investigations into the Pan Am bombing and other acts of terror by the Qaddafi regime against U.S. citizens.

The TNC has an extraordinary opportunity to start anew, to embrace democratic reforms, and rehabilitate Libya's reputation in the world community, but unveiling the past and supporting the pursuit of justice are prerequisites for real change. The TNC's cooperation would be a signal to the world that a new Libyan state has taken hold, based on the core principles of justice, respect for human rights, and cooperation with the international community.

Sincerely,

ROBERT MENENDEZ
United States Senator

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