‘Lockerbie bomber close to dying’

December 9th, 2010 - 4:21 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 9 (IANS) A Libyan man convicted for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing in which 270 air travellers were killed is in a coma and may have only days to live, a media report said Thursday.

According to Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, the health of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has “deteriorated badly”, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Gaddafi was speaking in the Libyan capital Tripoli, to back Megrahi’s family who have said they will sue the Scottish authorities for neglecting Megrahi’s health in prison.

Megrahi had been in a coma since last week and was not expected to survive long, a source close to the bomber’s family was quoted by Sky News as saying.

“He is on life support and has been for some days. Many people have been waiting for him to die. That day is coming very soon. Every day, his loved ones expect it to be his last,” the source said.

Others said he would unlikely to be alive on the anniversary of the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103, Dec 21, 1988 which killed 270 people, the report said.

Al-Megrahi was jailed in 2001 for the Lockerbie tragedy. The 57-year-old Libyan was freed by the Scottish government on compassionate grounds in August 2009 after medical experts said he had only three months to live, and flown home to Libya.

The fact that he is still alive 15 months later has added weight to American anger that he was released. Diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks have also described the pressure Libya brought to bear on Britain not to allow him to die in prison.

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