President Nelson Mandela earned worldwide praise for his role in persuading Libya to hand over two suspects accused of placing a bomb on Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988, killing altogether 270 people, crew, passengers and residents of the town. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has agreed to hand over the suspects to be tried in a Scottish court of law in the Netherlands. Mandela, who was to retire in three months'' time, has not only scored a diplomatic victory but has also proved his moral stature.
Following an 84 days'' trial, Abdelbaset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was jailed for life in January 2001. Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, his co-accused, was acquitted and returned to Libya.