Lockerbie bomber found in Tripoli


The Lockerbie bomber has been tracked down to his villa in the Libyan capital, where he is apparently near death.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi is reportedly confined to bed, drifting in and out of consciousness, and surrounded by his family in their home in Tripoli.

His relatives allowed a reporting team from American news channel CNN to enter the house, which they said had been ransacked by looters who plundered all his medicine.

Oxygen and a fluids drip are all that are keeping him alive, according to his family.

His son Khaled al-Megrahi said he had no idea how much longer his father had to live, but insisted he should be able to spend his last few days in peace at home.

“There is no doctor, there is nobody to ask and we don’t have a phoneline to call anybody,” he told the broadcaster.

His family said he had not been eating and they did not know how to treat him.

Scotland said today it had no plans to request the extradition of Megrahi, the only man ever convicted of the 1988 bombing of a US-bound airliner over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

"We have never had and do not have any intention of asking for the extradition of Mr Megrahi," Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond said in an interview with Sky News.

"It's quite clear from the Libyan [National] Transitional Council that following their own laws there was never any intention of agreeing to such extradition."

Megrahi was found guilty of bombing Pan Am flight 103 while en route from London to New York on December 21, 1988. A total of 270 people were killed.

Megrahi was sentenced to life imprisonment in Scotland, but released two years ago and returned to Libya because he was judged to be suffering from advanced terminal prostate ca

CNN reporter Nic Robertson said Megrahi looked far worse than he had done when he last saw him two years ago and described his appearance as “much iller, much sicker, his face is sunken...just a shell of the man he was”.

He added: “I was shocked when I walked into the room and saw him in such a state.”

Britain and the new Libyan government have been at loggerheads over the prospects for the bomber - and also Yvonne Fletcher’s suspected killer - being removed from the conflict-torn country.

There have been calls for Megrahi to be brought back to jail in the UK in the wake of the collapse of Gadafy’s regime.

The Scottish government and East Renfrewshire Council, who Megrahi must regularly contact under his conditions of release, said any change in his circumstances would be a matter for discussion with the NTC.

Scotland Yard has also identified former Libyan diplomat Abdulmagid Salah Ameri as the prime suspect in the 1984 shooting of WPC Fletcher in London.

British foreign secretary William Hague struck an optimistic note on the cases yesterday, saying National Transitional Council (NTC) chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil had pledged to “co-operate fully”.

But last night new justice minister Mohammed al-Alagi became the most senior figure so far to rule out handing individuals over.

“We will not give any Libyan citizen to the West,” he told reporters in Tripoli. “Al-Megrahi has already been judged once and he will not be judged again ...

“We do not hand over Libyan citizens. (Muammar) Gadafy does.” No-one has ever been prosecuted over the murder of WPC Fletcher, who was shot while policing a protest outside the Libyan embassy.

Libya does have an extradition agreement with the UK. However, it only covers foreign suspects, rather than Libyan nationals.