Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi still alive in Libya
Perhaps the expert’s should have gotten another opinion.
Lockerbie convicted suspects Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi remains alive and well in Libya nearly a year after his early release and months after several doctors said the cancer-stricken man was supposed to have died.
Now one of those same doctors claims Megrahi could potentially live another decade.
“There was always a chance he could live for ten years, 20 years… But it’s very unusual,” cancer specialist Professor Sikora told London’s Sunday Times.
Megrahi is the only person to be convicted in the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 bombing that killed 270 over Lockerbie, Scotland. He was given a life sentence, but received an early release in August for “compassionate” reasons because doctors concluded he would be dead within three months from terminal prostate cancer.
Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi received a hero’s welcome when he returned to Libya after his release in August and since has reportedly been on the mend. Although he was required to keep Scottish doctors apprised of his health after his release, his lawyers have kept his medical records sealed.
Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi remains alive and well in Libya, despite doctors’ claims that he would have died within weeks after his controversial release in August 2009.
Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi remains alive and well in Libya, despite doctors’… (Getty)
“There was a 50 per cent chance that he would die in three months,” Sikora said. “But there was also a 50 per cent chance that he would live longer.”
Megrahi’s continued health has caused outrage among the families of those who died in 1988, many of whom were angry he had been let go at all.
It was reported last year that Megrahi’s release had little to do with his health, but was tied to political dealings related to the oil trade between the United Kingdom and Libya.
The Scottish government has reaffirmed its release of Megrahi was based upon his “terminal” cancer.
“He was released on compassionate grounds,” the statement said, “and allowed home to die based on the medical report of the Scottish Prison Service Director of Health and the recommendations of the Parole Board and Prison Governor.
Andrew I. Killgore is publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.
The truth of the matter is that many experts have come to the conclusion that Megrahi sentence was without grounds, evidence was suppressed, the case was structured to serve the political games of US-UK-Israel. Since the beginning of the case, it was clear that he has convicted before even the trial started.
As international observer, appointed by the UN, at the Scottish Court in the Netherlands I am also concerned about the Public Interest Immunity (PII) certificate which has been issued by you in connection with the new Appeal of the convicted Libyan national. Withholding of evidence from the Defence was one of the reasons why the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission has referred Mr. Al-Megrahi’s case back to the High Court of Justiciary. The Appeal cannot go ahead if the Government of the United Kingdom, through the PII certificate issued by you, denies the Defence the right (also guaranteed under the European Convention on Human Rights) to have access to a document which is in the possession of the Prosecution. How can there be equality of arms in such a situation? How can the independence of the judiciary be upheld if the executive power interferes into the appeal process in such a way? UN Observer at the Lockerbie trial Dr Hans Köchler July 21, 2008
The judges announced their verdict on 31 January 2001. They said of Megrahi: “There is nothing in the evidence which leaves us with any reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the first accused, and accordingly we find him guilty of the remaining charge in the indictment as amended.” Megrahi was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a recommendation that he should serve at least 20 years before being eligible for parole.
Little over a year later on March 12, 2002 a panel of 5 five Scottish judges at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands. According to a report by the BBC, Dr Hans Köchler, one of the UN observers at the trial, expressed serious doubts about the fairness of the proceedings and spoke of a “spectacular miscarriage of justice”.