Lockerbie bomber alive almost one year after release on compassionate grounds
July 5, 2010
(ChattahBox) – Freed by the Scottish government on supposed compassionate grounds, convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, was predicted to die of cancer within three months of his release in August last year. Convicted for killing 270 people in the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, many in the west are outraged, especially after he flew home to a hero’s welcome. The fallout has been a nightmare for the Scottish justice secretary Kenny Macaskill who made the decision to release al-Megrahi, and Professor Karol Sikora, the dean of medicine at Buckingham University who was paid to assess his medical condition and now tells the UK Daily Telegraph: “There was a 50 percent chance that he would die in three months, but there was also a 50 percent chance that he would live longer.” Sikora also says it’s possible, though unlikely, that al-Megrahi could live for 10 or 20 more years. In Scotland, prisoners are eligible for release on compassionate grounds if they have fewer than three months to live. Sikora looking back on his decision says that: “On the balance of probabilities, I felt I could sort of justify [that].”The UK press has speculated Britain may have traded al-Megrahi in return for lucrative deals with the energy-rich North African nation. But questions about Megrahi’s co-conspirators have plagued Megrahi’s conviction for the mass murder of 270 people. The victims’ families believe Megrahi could not have managed the Lockerbie bombing alone. Additionally, the convicted bomber has maintained his innocence, leaving others to wonder if Megrahi was a scapegoat for another group of shadowy terrorists responsible for the bombing.