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Lockerbie bomber close to death, say relatives

Health of convicted bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi has seriously deteriorated and he is reported to have fallen into a coma.

File photo dated 22 December, 1988, showing wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103.
File photo dated 22 December, 1988, showing wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103.
Image: PA/PA Wire/Press Association Images

THE MAN CONVICTED OF THE 1988 Lockerbie bombing of a Pan Am flight which killed 270 people is reported to be seriously ill.

The bomb killed 259 people on board the plane and 11 others on the ground.

The PA reports that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, who was granted early release from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds due to his terminal illness, is on a life support machine.

A source close to the family told Sky News that his family now expects each day to be his last.

Al-Megrahi was diagnosed with prostate cancer and given just months to live before his release from prison in August 2009.

Three months ago, the father of one of the victims of the bombing travelled to Libya to meet al-Megrahi. Jim Swire, whose 24-year-old daughter Flora was on board the Pan Am flight which was blown up mid-air, said he does not believe al-Megrahi is guilty. Swire said al-Megrahi was “a very sick man”.

Al-Megrahi has always denied he was responsible for the bombing and his family say they will sue Scottish authorities for neglecting his health while in prison, according to the Telegraph.

The anger of victims’ relatives over al-Megrahi’s release from prison increased as he survived beyond the few months doctors initially said he would live for.

According to cables recently released by Wikileaks, Britain feared that failure to release al-Megrahi would have disastrous consequences for British interests in Libya. UK authorities have denied bowing to pressure to release the convicted bomber after suggestions that BP lobbied the British government to release al-Megrahi in order to secure its operations in Libya.

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