Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Lockerbie least MacAskill won't have to bury him!

Source: Daily Mail

Lockerbie bomber al-Megrahi's health deteriorates as cancer spreads

By Anny Shaw

Lockerbie bomber Abdulbaset Ali al-Megrahi's health has deteriorated as his cancer has spread, according to a Libyan hospital source.

Megrahi, who was convicted of the 1988 bombing of a New York-bound Pan Am 747 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, arrived at hospital yesterday coughing and vomiting, according to a statement released by the Tripoli Medical Centre.

The statement said Megrahi's condition had worsened and his prostate cancer had spread throughout his body.

Abdulbaset Ali al-Megrahi on his sick bed at his home in Tripoli

Abdulbaset Ali al-Megrahi on his sick bed at his home in Tripoli in August. The 57-year-old has been admitted to hospital as his cancer has spread

'A scan has shown a worsening of the disease which has spread more than before,' it said.

The Libyan was controversially freed by Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill on August 20 after being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and was given only three months to live.

The 57-year-old had been serving a life sentence in a Scottish prison after being jailed in 2001 for committing the atrocity that killed 270 people.

After being freed, the 57-year-old returned home to Libya to a hero's welcome, angering relatives of those killed.

The damaged aircraft cockpit of Pan Am 103 that exploded over Lockerbie killing 270 people

The damaged cockpit of Pan Am 103 that exploded over Lockerbie killing 270

His release caused tensions between Britain, the Scottish government and the United States and sparked questions about London's growing trade relationship with Tripoli.

Some 189 Americans were among those who died in the explosion.

Anger at Megrahi's release was compounded after speculation that the severity of the Libyan's condition had been exaggerated.

Gordon Brown was called upon to seek the immediate return of the Lockerbie bomber to Britain when Megrahi was still alive three months after his release.

Megrahi's admission to hospital comes amid revelations that he had £1.8m in a Swiss bank account when he was convicted eight years ago.

According to the Sunday Times, the Crown Office, Scotland’s equivalent of the Crown Prosecution Service, said it refused to grant bail to the Lockerbie bomber as recently as November last year because of concerns he might try to gain access to the money.

The existence of such a large sum in a personal account casts doubt on claims by the Libyan government that Megrahi was a low-ranking airline worker.

The disclosure also raises further questions about the wisdom of the Scottish government in releasing the bomber.

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