Lockerbie convict makes rare appearance in Libya

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The former Libyan intelligence agent convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing over Scotland made a rare public appearance at a rally in support of Muammar Gaddafi.

Libyan state television showed Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, who returned to Libya in 2009 after being freed from a Scottish jail on the grounds he was suffering from terminal prostate cancer, wearing traditional local garb and sitting in a wheelchair at a tribal meeting in Tripoli.

Such meetings have been common as Gaddafi rallies support while rebels push on with their campaign to end his 41-year-rule. Gaddafi is clinging to power despite the rebels’ advances and four months of NATO airstrikes, Reuters reports.

Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of playing a “significant part in planning and perpetrating” the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in which 270 people were killed. He was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum jail term of 27 years.

His release angered the United States, and his return to a hero’s welcome in Libya was an embarrassment to the British government. Megrahi’s survival has raised U.S. questions about the medical advice that led to his being freed.