Scottish officials skeptical about Lockerbie Bomber being close to death

Edinburgh (Scotland), Dec.10 (ANI): Scottish Government officials are reportedly skeptical about the Lockerbie Bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi being close to death.

Reacting to news coming out of Tripoli, Libya, that al-Megrahi was on his last legs, Scottish officials attached with the East Renfrewshire Council, which monitors the terms of Megrahi's licence, said claims that the bomber was on the verge of death were merely "unfounded rumours".

They appeared to rubbish Libyan Government and immediate family claims of al-Megrahi's condition deteriorating significantly in recent days.

Council officials claimed that they had spoken to al-Megrahi in recent days. Officials at the local authority were also adamant yesterday that he remained fully conscious.

A spokesman added: "We continue to be in contact with Mr. Megrahi regularly, and whenever we need to be, for the purposes of supervision."

The conflicting accounts come with renewed attention focusing on the bomber following the publication of United States embassy cables, which, among other revelations, have claimed that the Scottish and UK governments were "threatened" by the Libyans to release Megrahi.

First Minister Alex Salmond and former UK justice secretary Jack Straw have both denied the claims.

Megrahi is still living at his home in Tripoli, 16 months after he was released on compassionate grounds, having developed prostate cancer.

The Libyan remains the only person convicted of Britain's worst terrorist atrocity, when Pan Am 103 was blown up above Lockerbie in December 1988, killing 270 people. (ANI)

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