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Victim's sister wants bomber back in prison; Does not expect rebels to comply

A new day may be dawning in Libya, but Cheryl Brunner isn't holding out much hope that it will bring more justice in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that killed her younger sister and 258 others aboard the Dec. 21, 1988, flight, as well as 11 others on the ground in Lockerbie, Scotland.

The Hamburg resident, who always considered Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi responsible for the terrorist attack, was paying close attention Monday to the crumbling of Gadhafi's 42-year reign as rebel forces entered Tripoli and arrested some of his sons.

Brunner wasn't confident that regime change would put Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, a purported Libyan agent and the only person convicted in the Lockerbie bombing, back behind bars.

"I don't see it happening. I hope it does, but I don't know," she said.

Al-Megrahi had served eight years in a Scottish prison when, in 2009, that nation's justice system determined he had just a few months to live because of prostate cancer and released him to return to Libya to die.

The decision outraged many of the Lockerbie families, including Brunner, whose sister, Colleen, a 20-year-old sophomore at Oswego State College, was flying back to the U.S. from London when the Pan Am plane exploded and crashed.

"The Scots went by their law, but the thing is they were told he only had three months to live, and he's still living two years later," Brunner said.

Sens. Kirsten E. Gillibrand and Charles E. Schumer, both New York Democrats, urged the Libyan Transitional National Council -- the governing body of the rebel forces -- to hold al-Megrahi fully accountable for his terrorist actions.

"The release of al-Megrahi was a total miscarriage of justice. Seeing him participate in good health at a pro-Gadhafi rally recently was another slap in the face not just for the families of the Lockerbie victims, but for all Americans and all nations of the world who are committed to bringing terrorists to justice," Gillibrand said.

If the Scots won't take al-Megrahi back, Brunner said she would be happy to see him imprisoned in the United States.

"I'm not holding my breath that it's going to happen," she added.