LIBYA - TERRORISM

Lockerbie bomber's lawyer denies report that he is dead

A lawyer for Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al Megrahi denied British channel Sky News’ report that his client had died. Al Megrahi was freed two months ago from a Scottish jail and is now back in Libya.

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AFP - A lawyer for Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi denied Wednesday a report that he had died, two months after being freed from a Scottish jail.

Sky News television, quoting unidentified sources, said there were reports that Megrahi had died. He was freed from a Scottish prison and returned to Libya on August 20, on the grounds that he was dying of prostate cancer.

"It's not true... he's alive and I know that for a fact," Scottish lawyer Tony Kelly told AFP, while declining to give details of the Libyan's condition.

Sky later dropped reports of his death.

Megrahi, 57, was convicted in January 2001 at an extraordinary Scottish court convened in the Netherlands.

He mounted an unsuccessful appeal in 2002 and in 2007 his case was sent for a second appeal -- which his lawyers dropped shortly before his release on compassionate grounds in August.

Megrahi was admitted to hospital at the start of September, less than a fortnight after his release when he was given less than three months to live.

The former Libyan agent is the only person convicted of the murder of 270 people in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988.

His release, ordered by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, triggered fury from the US administration and families of the 189 US nationals who died.

The hero's welcome he was accorded by the Libyan authorities also sparked a storm of protest from both Britain and the United States.

The British government strongly denies claims that it put pressure on Scottish authorities to free Megrahi to smooth trade deals with Libya.
 

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