Lockerbie bomber's release 'manipulated' by Scottish government: US senators

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Washington, Sep 30(ANI): The Scottish government 'purposely manipulated' Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi's release to ensure that he was freed on compassionate grounds, US senators have claimed.

Senator Robert Menendez, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Chairman, said that Scottish ministers had intervened in Megrahi's medical diagnosis to make it appear he was close to death.

"The release on compassionate grounds was deeply flawed and perhaps even intentionally skewed to allow Megrahi's release. Obviously the three month prognosis was wrong yet shockingly the Scottish authorities still to this day insist the original prognosis was correct," The Daily Mail quoted Menendez, as saying.

"Well, Megrahi is still alive instead of living three months he's lived 13 months and counting, which clearly means someone was wrong, or worse."My view is that the Scottish government's three-month release process was in this case incredibly flawed if not purposely manipulated," he added.

He also criticised the British government and oil giant BP for their 'reprehensible' failure to co-operate with the Senate Committee's inquiry into the affair.

Meanwhile, Senator Frank Lautenberg, another member of the panel, called his release 'grotesque'.

"I'm disappointed that the Scottish and British government have refused to show up. It's outrageous that BP has refused to cooperate. If they are committed to the truth they have to give us the answers we need and that the victims' families deserve," Lautenberg added.

Megrahi was the only man convicted of 270 counts of murder for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988, and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Some 189 Americans died in the terror attack.

The 58-year-old was freed on compassionate grounds by the Scottish government in August 2009 after a medical report said that he had terminal prostate cancer and was expected to have less than three months to live

However, over a year on, Megrahi is still alive and living in Tripoli with experts predicting he could survive for another decade. (ANI)

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