[This is the headline over a Deutsche Presse-Agentur news agency report on the website of The Seattle Times. It reads in part:]
The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing "remains a sick man" but was in better shape than expected when the father of one of the victims visited him in Tripoli, Libya.
Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora, 24, was on the Pan Am airliner when it was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, held a one-hour meeting with Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in Libya on Tuesday, The Sunday Times of Malta reported.
It was the first time that the Scottish doctor had met al-Megrahi since his controversial release from a Scottish prison in August 2009. (...)
Al-Megrahi has kept a low profile since his release, amid media speculation about his health and whereabouts.
Swire, who has always maintained the Libyan was wrongly convicted of the crime that killed 270 people, was quick to quash media claims that the so-called "Lockerbie bomber" was not really a dying man.
"Abdel Baset remains a sick man, but he is in better shape than I had dared to hope. His mind is perfectly clear. I attribute this to the love and care of his family and community, and to some extent also to the excellent medical care he seems to be receiving," Swire, 74, told Malta's main newspaper.
He said he decided to visit Tripoli in solidarity with the Libyan, who has maintained his innocence and wants the verdict against him overturned.
[There is a brief report on the website of The Sunday Times of Malta. A longer report will probably appear there later today. The brief report, headlined "Lockerbie bomber claims he was 'betrayed' by Maltese man" reads in part:]
Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, the Libyan man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing and controversially released last year, is claiming that a Maltese witness at his trial “betrayed a fellow human being for money”.
The claim was made to Jim Swire, a Scottish doctor who last week visited Al Megrahi in Tripoli. Dr Swire lost his daughter in the Lockerbie bombing in 1988. (...)
The two men met in Tripoli last Tuesday where they discussed, among other issues, Tony Gauci, the owner of a shop in Sliema who claimed he had identified Mr Al Megrahi as the man who had bought clothes from him that were later found wrapped around the bomb.
His testimony led to the imprisonment of Mr Al-Megrahi, until the Libyan was released a year ago on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer.
Asked by The Sunday Times whether the two men spoke about Mr Gauci’s testimony, Dr Swire said: “Yes we did. We felt that if Abdelbaset and I were standing at the gates of heaven, and Mr Gauci applied for entry he would be asked why he had betrayed his brother human being and his only answer would have to be ‘for the money’.”
Mr Al-Megrahi’s defence team recently contended that the Maltese witness was paid “in excess of $2 million”, while his brother was paid “in excess of $1 million” for their cooperation.
Dr Swire said he was convinced of the Libyan’s innocence, saying he was converted by the evidence he heard in the main trial at Camp Zeist.
Dr Swire said Mr Gauci’s evidence was clearly unreliable now that it had emerged (from a policeman’s diary, since made public by Mr Megrahi’s defence team and not seen by the court), that he was enticed with offers of American money to give evidence, which the court was unaware of.