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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Scottish Minister: No Plans for Lockerbie Bomber Extradition

August 29, 2011

Selah Hennessy | London

Scotland's government has responded to criticism of its decision to release Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, a day after media organization CNN found him bedridden at his villa in Tripoli.

Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, said Monday that his government has no intention of asking for the extradition of al-Megrahi.

It is time, he said, to lay to rest the "ridiculous" conspiracy theory that al-Megrahi is not dying of prostate cancer.

Al-Megrahi served eight years of a life sentence in Scotland before he was released in 2009 on compassionate grounds. Doctors said he had only three months to live.

Two years on, a CNN journalist who visited him in Tripoli said al-Megrahi appeared to be “near death.”

Speaking outside the Tripoli villa where al-Megrahi is living, his brother Abdel Nasser al-Megrahi spoke to reporters.

He says the Lockerbie case is over. He (Abdel Baset al-Megrahi) came back to Libya because of a decision from the Scottish justice minister. He is a sick man.

Al-Megrahi was convicted for the 1988 bombing of a U.S.-bound flight that killed 270 people. His release in 2009 was controversial. In Libya, he received a hero’s welcome. But his release infuriated some politicians in the U.S. and Europe, along with the families of many victims.

Since rebels advanced into Tripoli last week, calls have been made by U.S. politicians for al-Megrahi to be extradited.

But the justice minister of Libya’s transitional government, Mohammed al-Alagi, says that will not happen.

He says no Libyan citizen will be handed over to the West. Al-Megrahi, he says, has faced trial and will not face trial again.

Al-Megrahi’s family says he is being kept alive with oxygen and a fluid drip, is falling in and out of a coma and has stopped eating.

Under the terms of his release, al-Megrahi must live at his Tripoli home and provide monthly reports of his medical condition.

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