Libyan Megrahi's health 'worsens'

Lockerbie convict's condition is said to have deteriorated rapidly and is unable to speak.

    Al-Megrahi was released last month on the grounds that he had little time to live [AFP]

    Doctors attending to the patient confirmed Abdenasser's statement but they declined to give more details.

    "We are expecting the result of lab exams from Germany to arrive here before a special committee of doctors release a statement on his health circumstances," one of the doctors told Reuters news agency, asking not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

    Controversial release

    Al-Megrahi, the only person convicted over the Lockerbie bombing, received a rapturous welcome when he arrived home in Libya last month.

    In depth

     Profile: Abdel Basset al-Megrahi
     Bomber's homecoming slammed
     Release prompts anger and relief
      Video: Al-Megrahi speaks out
      Video: Opinions divided over Lockerbie appeal
     Video: Lockerbie remembered
     Al-Megrahi statement in full

    On Wednesday, al-Megrahi had appeared in a relatively better condition when he was met by African parliamentarians at a conference room at the Medical Centre, to which he was taken in a wheelchair, doctors said on Saturday.

    The United States, and opposition parties in Britain, criticised the decision to release the man who was sentenced to life in prison in 2001 for his part in blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, killing 270 people.

    Barack Obama, the US president, said the release of the former Libyan intelligence agent was a mistake. The majority of the victims of the bombing were US citizens.

    The British government has also been accused by domestic opponents of backing al-Megrahi's release in a drive to improve ties with Libya, where British firms are seeking greater access to the North African state's oil and gas reserves.

    The government has rejected the allegations, insisting the decision to release the Libyan was made by Scotland's devolved government with no pressure applied from London.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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