Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, convicted of the 1998 Lockerbie bombing in which 270 were killed has died in Tripoli following a long battle with cancer. His death comes three years after his release from a Scottish prison.
The 60-year-old was taken to hospital from his home last month after his health deteriorated rapidly. His family maintain Al Megrahi’s innocence and blame prison security checks as the cause of his cancer.
“Within our family we say he was convicted twice. We as a family believe that his daily exposure to harmful x rays used for security over a 10-year period in jail caused his deadly disease,” his brother said.
Pan Am flight 103 fell out of the sky just over half an hour after take off from London in December 1988. All 259 on board were killed and 11 people in the town of Lockerbie died.
In 2001 he was convicted in a court in the Netherlands under Scottish law and sentenced to life imprisonment. Eight years later he was freed on compassionate grounds reportedly with only months to live.
Back in Tripoli he was given a heroes welcome. Britain condemned the celebrations which sparked fury among relatives of the victims. Some U.S politicians pressed for his extradition to the United States. Questions remain if al-Megrahi acted alone in the bombing.