3 Oct 2011

Megrahi protests innocence from Libya

In what he says are his “last days or weeks” left alive, Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, says his role in the attack has been greatly exaggerated.

Megrahi, released from a Scottish prison two years ago because he was suffering from terminal cancer, gave an interview from his death bed at his Tripoli home.

He said he had only a few months, at most, to live.

“The facts (about the Lockerbie bombing) will become clear one day and hopefully in the near future. In a few months from now, you will see new facts that will be announced,” he said.

“The west exaggerated my name. Please leave me alone. I only have a few more days, weeks or months.”

Megrahi was found guilty in 2001 of bombing Pan Am flight 103 as it flew to New York from London on 21 December, 1988. All 259 people aboard the aircraft were killed and 11 others on the ground in the Scottish town of Lockerbie also died from falling wreckage.

A second defendant, Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, was cleared of murder charges in the proceedings.

Please leave me alone. I only have a few more days, weeks or months. Abdel Basset al-Megrahi

Megrahi, who had served as an intelligence agent during the rule of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, denied any role in suspected human rights abuses in his home country.

“All my work was administrative. I never harmed Libyans,” he said.” I didn’t harm anyone. I’ve never harmed anyone in my life,” he said.

Megrahi said that Jim Swire, the father of one of the victims of the bombing and who has disputed the court’s findings, maintained contact with him.

“The day before yesterday, Dr Swire sent me an email to tell me that there is a new medicine. He is trying to help me. He told me how to get this medicine.”

Dr Swire recently told Channel 4 News that he has always doubted Megrahi’s involvement in the atrocity.

Instead, he has long believed that Libya’s only role in the bombing was to supply Semtex, the plastic explosive used in the attack, to the perpetrators, which he believes was he thinks that Iran and Syria masterminded the atrocity.

Strike against Gaddafi

Megrahi said he had little knowledge of the circumstances surrounding Gaddafi’s overthrow and that the armed groups which toppled Gaddafi had invaded his home and mistreated him.

I want to die in my house, among my family. I hope to God that I will see my country united, with no fighting or war. Abdel Basset al-Megrahi

“I don’t know anything about 17 February…that’s not a question for a sick person,” he said.

“I hear airplanes overhead every day,” he said, referring to Nato planes which have bombed sites in Libya.

“My house has been violated. They smashed the main door and stole my cars.”

Megrahi added that he was being denied medical treatment which he said was stipulated in the deal that saw him returned from Scotland to Libya.

“I was treated badly when I came back. During the latest incidents, especially in the last month, I have a shortage of all my medicines. My doctor tells me to look for medicine like anyone else despite the agreement between us and Britain,” he said. “I have four pills left (of one of the medications).”

“I want to die in my house, among my family. I hope to God that I will see my country united, with no fighting or war. I hope the bloodshed will stop in Libya. I wish all the best for my country.”

Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) head Mustafa Abdel Jalil has previously claimed to have evidence of Gaddafi’s involvement in the bombing.