Clinton: Libya must deal with Lockerbie bomber

By MATTHEW LEE | September 1, 2011 | 12:45 PM EDT

PARIS (AP) — Senior U.S. officials say Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has told Libyan opposition leaders that they must deal with the case of the only person convicted in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and that the Obama administration will be watching closely how they handle it.

Officials say that in a meeting with senior members of Libya's National Transitional Council in Paris, Clinton told them that the release from prison and current status of former Libyan intelligence agent Abdel Baset al-Megrahi are of deep concern to the United States. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a private diplomatic exchange.

They said she made clear that the U.S. strongly believes al-Megrahi should never have been freed and that his return to a hero's welcome in Moammar Gadhafi's Libya remains problematic.