Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi
This is the statement released by Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, after his release from a Scottish prison. "I am obviously very relieved to be leaving my prison cell at last and returning to Libya, my homeland. "Many people, including the relatives of those who died in, and over, Lockerbie, are, I know, upset that my appeal has come to an end; that nothing more can be done about the circumstances surrounding the Lockerbie bombing. "I share their frustration. I had most to gain and nothing to lose about the whole truth coming out – until my diagnosis of cancer.
"To those victims' relatives who can bear to hear me say this: they continue to have my sincere sympathy for the unimaginable loss that they have suffered. "To those who bear me ill will, I do not return that to you. "I cannot find words in my language or yours that give proper expression to the desolation I have felt. "This horrible ordeal is not ended by my return to Libya. "It may never end for me until I die. Perhaps the only liberation for me will be death. "And I say in the clearest possible terms, which I hope every person in every land will hear: all of this I have had to endure for something that I did not do.
"The remaining days of my life are being lived under the shadow of the wrongness of my conviction. I have been faced with an appalling choice: to risk dying in prison in the hope that my name is cleared posthumously or to return home still carrying the weight of the guilty verdict, which will never now be lifted. "The choice which I made is a matter of sorrow, disappointment and anger, which I fear I will never overcome. I say goodbye to Scotland and shall not return. My time here has been very unhappy and I do not leave a piece of myself.