Lockerbie bomber disappears in Libya


The Libyan convicted for the 1988 bombing of an American plane in Lockerbie, Scotland, who was released last August on compassionate grounds, has been reported missing in Libya.

Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, 57, was freed from a Scottish jail because doctors’ report said he would die in three months of a terminal prostate cancer. But under terms of his release, al-Megrahi cannot change his address or leave Tripoli and must keep in regular communication with East Renfrewshire Council – his Scottish monitors.

Reports from Times say the council has been unable to locate the bomber whose release aroused anger within the circles of families and friends of the 270 victims of the Lockerbie tragedy.

Al -Megrahi was last seen in public on September 9, when he briefly met a delegation of African politicians at the Tripoli Medical Centre where he receives treatment. He was in a wheelchair, looking frail and coughing repeatedly.

US newspaper Examiner said families of the many American victims have expressed anger over the alleged disappearance of the bomber. A New York congressman, Eliot Engel, was quoted as saying: “I think it was a tremendous mistake to let him (al-Megrahi) out in the first place. I don’t think a convicted terrorist has any integrity to abide by any type of agreement.”

Libyan officials could say nothing about the whereabouts of al-Megrahi.

Tony Kelly, al-Megrahi’s Scottish lawyer, refused to discuss his client, and the British Embassy in Tripoli had no comment, according to Times.

The Scottish officials said the disappearance of the bomber would tarnish the credibility of the Libyan government, calling for urgent investigations into his disappearance.

Al-Megrahi has seemingly outlived doctors’ predictions that he would die in three months. He is in his fifth month. Reports of medical tests carried on him by Libyan doctors have always been kept secret, according to British magazine, Times.