NEWARK, N.J. — Gov. Jon Corzine and New Jersey federal legislators joined an angry chorus of opposition Wednesday to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's expected stay in the state, where 38 victims of the bombing of Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, lived before their deaths in 1988.
Corzine and Democrats U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and U.S. Rep. John Adler protested anticipated plans by Gadhafi to stay in the northern New Jersey community of Englewood when he addresses the United Nations General Assembly next month. Adler said he should be "barred" from New Jersey.
The Libyan government is renovating a sprawling estate in the upscale community, and Gadhafi's expected to pitch a ceremonial Bedouin-style tent on the grounds, after a request to erect it in Manhattan's Central Park was rejected, according to elected officials. Fifty-nine of the Pan Am victims were New York state residents.
Opposition to the ruler of the oil-rich North African nation has surged since he welcomed Abdel Baset al-Megrahi home last week. Al-Megrahi is the only man convicted in the bombing, which is widely thought to be the work of Libyan intelligence. In all, 259 people aboard the plane and 11 on the ground were killed.
"I want him barred from New Jersey," Adler said Wednesday at a gathering at the Victims of Terrorism Memorial in the southern New Jersey community of Pennsauken. "Let him land at the U.N. by helicopter, do his business and get out of the country."
Adler plans to introduce a resolution condemning Al-Megrahi's release at the U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 8.