Official: Lockerbie Bomber Prison Release in Best Interest of U.K.

Britain's Foreign Secretary says his country's interests would have suffered had the Lockerbie bomber died in prison.

David Miliband said in a statement before lawmakers Monday that British authorities believed the U.K.'s economic and security cooperation with Libya would have been damaged if Abdel Baset al-Megrahi died from cancer while he was still behind bars.

However Miliband says that those considerations played no role in the decision by Scottish authorities to release the bomber on compassionate grounds in August.

The former Libyan intelligence agent is the only man convicted in the 1988 attack in which 270 people died.

Al-Megrahi has always denied being behind the atrocity.