TRENTON, NJ(CBSNewYork/AP) – A New Jersey woman whose daughter was killed in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing says the death of the only person ever convicted in the case should not be used as an excuse to end any ongoing investigations into who planned and carried out the blast.
Susan Cohen told The Associated Press she has no pity for al-Megrahi, who died Sunday. The Cape May Court House woman lost her 20-year-old daughter in the bombing that killed 270 people, including 38 from New Jersey. She said she hopes U.S. and British officials will now “dig even deeper” into the case.
“This can’t be used as an excuse for ending anything,” Cohen said Sunday. “Instead, the United States and Great Britain should put even more pressure on Libya to interview people and get more specifics on the bombing and who may have been involved. There could be people higher up who should be indicted in this (case).”
A Libyan intelligence officer, al-Megrahi was jailed in 2001 for the bombing of the Pan Am flight over Scotland. To the end, he insisted he had nothing to do with the bombing, and his 2009 release and return home on humanitarian grounds because of prostate cancer _ a diagnosis where he was told he had three months to live _ drew condemnation from relatives of the victims.
“The fact that he was able to get out and live with his family these past few years is an appalling miscarriage of justice. There was no excuse for that,” Cohen said. “He should have died in the Scottish prison. He should have been tried in the United States and faced capital punishment for his crimes.”
The mother of one victim told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello that Abdel Baset al-Megrahi’s death, at home, surrounded by his family, was a “travesty of justice.”
U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., who served on a presidential commission that investigated the bombing and played a role in securing compensation for the victims’ families, said al-Megrahi “died with American blood on his hands and will always be remembered as a murderer.”
Lautenberg added that while al-Megrahi’s death may bring some level of closure to the victims’ families, “his misdeeds will never be forgotten and our pursuit of justice will continue.”
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