Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the only man ever convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, has died in Libya, according to reports from his family in Tripoli. He was 60.
The man known as the Lockerbie bomber, who was convicted by a Scottish court for killing 270 people on board the doomed Pan Am flight 103, has died, according to his brother.
“He was too sick to utter anything on his deathbed,” his brother Adbulhakim reportedly said. “We want people to know he was innocent – he was battling with the disease for months now … his health got really bad last night.”
The death of Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, 60, announced in Tripoli, comes two and a half years after he was released from a Scottish jail on compassionate grounds, a move which outraged relatives of the victims as well as many politicians in Westminster.
UK's Cameron remembers victims
"I've always been clear he should never have been released from prison," British Prime Minister David Cameron said in Chicago on Sunday, where he is attending the NATO summit.
"Today is a day to remember the 270 people who lost their lives in what was an appalling terrorist act. Our thoughts shoudl be with them and their families for the suffering they've had," he said.
Megrahi was convicted by a Scottish court in 2001 for the 1988 attack on the airliner. He was released by the Scottish authorities in 2009 because doctors said he only had months to live. He suffered from prostate cancer. He had always maintained his innocence.
Just last month, on April 15, his brother reported that Megrahi had returned home after having had a blood transfusion in hospital.
“He is still very, very sick, in the final stages of a cancer which has no cure, so his days are numbered,” the brother said at the time.
The majority of those who died in the bombing of the Boeing 747 jet headed from London to New York were Americans. All 259 passengers and crew were killed, along with 11 people on the ground.
Megrahi, who was a Libyan intelligence officer under the late Libyan regime leader Moammar Gadhafi, had always maintained his innocence.
“I am an innocent man,” Megrahi said in his last interview, published in several British papers in December. “I am about to die, and I ask now to be left in peace with my family.”
tm, ng/ipj (AFP, Reuters)