* Al-Megrahi's release angered victims' relatives
* Libya will not give its citizen to West: rebel minister
* Gaddafi's fall created new pressure for extradition
(Updates with Scottish government response)
By Mohammed Abbas
TRIPOLI, Aug 28 Libya will not extradite Abdel
Basset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie
airline bombing, a minister in Libya's rebel National
Transitional Council (NTC) said on Sunday.
"We will not give any Libyan citizen to the West," Mohammed
al-Alagi, the NTC justice minister, told reporters in Tripoli.
The NTC became Libya's de facto government after rebels streamed
into the capital last week, overthrowing leader Muammar Gaddafi.
"Al-Megrahi has already been judged once and he will not be
judged again ... We do not hand over Libyan citizens. Gaddafi
does," Alagi added.
Megrahi, who had been diagnosed with cancer, served eight
years in a Scottish prison for orchestrating the bombing of the
Pan Am passenger plane which blew up over the Scottish town of
Lockerbie in 1988 killing 270 people.
He was released in 2009 on compassionate grounds after
doctors gave him only months to live.
Megrahi's release angered politicians in the United States
-- where many of the victims of the bombing came from. Britain's
Prime Minister David Cameron later said the decision by
Scotland's justice minister was a mistake.
Gaddafi's fall has prompted expectations in some Western
capitals that Libya's new leaders can be persuaded to extradite
him. But that would be politically unpopular in Libya, where
Megrahi is widely viewed as an innocent pawn in a political
RELEASE WAS "WRONG"
Britain did not comment directly on the rebel announcement
"The prime minister has made clear that the Scottish
government decision to release al-Megrahi was wrong and
misguided," said a foreign office spokeswoman.
"The NTC have committed to fully cooperate in resolving
outstanding legacy issues from the beginning, something
reiterated when (NTC) chair Abdul-Jalil visited the UK on May
The government of Scotland, under whose jurisdiction Megrahi
was tried, said it was in touch with the NTC's representatives
"Any change in Al-Megrahi's circumstances would be a matter
for discussion with them as the duly constituted and legitimate
government of Libya," a Scottish government spokesman said.
Televised images of Megrahi getting a hero's welcome after
his release in Tripoli angered the families of the victims of
the Lockerbie bombing.
One of Megrahi's neighbours in Tripoli said he was whisked
away by security guards last week when the capital fell.
Megrahi's whereabouts on Sunday were unknown.
(Reporting by Mohammed Abbas; Additional reporting by Adrian
Croft in London; Writing by Christian Lowe and Caroline Drees;
Editing by Andrew Heavens)