Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Al-Megrahi ‘gives up fight to beat cancer’

[This is the headline over the lead story on the front page of today's Scottish edition of The Times (behind the paywall). It reads in part:]

Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi is no longer receiving treatment for his terminal cancer and is taking high levels of morphine only to dull the pain after giving up his fight against terminal prostate cancer, he has told Scottish officials.

The Lockerbie bomber, freed on compassionate grounds more than two years ago, spoke about his care via a video link from his bed in Libya this month. “Megrahi was able to speak to the officials,” a source told The Times. “He was no longer talking about trying to beat the illness and said he didn’t expect to live for much longer. It sounds as if he has given up.” (...)

His survival thus far has been attributed to the fact that he started receiving chemotherapy on his return to Tripoli. Karol Sikora, who examined the convicted bomber before his release from Greenock prison in August 2009, has said that al-Megrahi was being given medication developed in Britain but not available on the NHS, leading some to speculate that it is this that has kept him alive.

However, the source who spoke to The Times said: “I think that was a bit of a myth and it is certainly the case that he is not receiving anything other than morphine now.”

Al-Megrahi remains, technically, a Scottish prisoner released on licence and is obliged to stay in regular contact with East Renfrewshire Council. It was local authority officials with whom he communicated via video link.

The confirmation that he is receiving only palliative care comes after the convicted bomber used what he described as his final interview to protest his innocence and to accuse one of the Crown’s main witnesses of lying at the trial in The Hague. The Times reported last week that al-Megrahi continued to insist that he had not bought clothes from a shop in Malta owned by Tony Gauci, whose identification of al-Megrahi was instrumental in securing his conviction.


  1. This whole saga becomes murkier and murkier. Why wasn't he given chemotherapy here?

    From the day I saw him walking up the aircraft steps, I knew he had a lot longer to live than 3 months.

    My father was off his legs for around 8 months before he succumbed.

  2. I pray to God that he shall die at home with his family, secure in the knowledge of his innocence. He has been tortured by a corrupt legal system that protects the powerful and abuses the weak. Through it all, he has maintained his integrity and courage.

    On the day of his death, let it be known that Megrahi was innocent of all charges.

  3. Megrahi always had more than 3 months to live.

    The 3 months lie was to force him to abandon his appeal.

    He was told " if you want to return to libya and see your family before you die, you must abandon your appeal".

    Its decision time because "you only have 3 months to live".

    If he wasn't convinced this was true, a view encouraged by poor treatment, its unlikely he would have abandoned his appeal.

    Now he is attacked for living too long.

  4. He's not taking treatment, because he's likely in remission.

    I have been saying publicly (and privately to Professor Black) that this release was contrived. He was never as sick as contrived (ooops, I mean conveyed)...

    Let's remember the story back in October 2008..."Lockerbie Bomboer has weeks to live".

    MacAskill, et al, released Al-Megrahi to avoid having to be on the hook for US$2.7bn if the SCCRC report found grounds for appeal.

    I think Al-Megrahi is guilty, but US$2.7bn is a lot of money to be on the hook for...

    Why else would Al-Megrahi HAVE to drop his appeal to get Compassionate Release?

  5. In the NAME of ALLAH, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful

    Mr. Abdelbaset Al Megrahi convicted of the Lockerbie bombing is a tragic miscarriage of Justice ! The truth in the SCCRC- files are only opened after grave goods ??

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Switzerland. URL: www.lockerbie.ch

  6. This is sad news, indeed.
    In most cancer-cases treatment stops at some time when it does not make sense anymore.
    Let's still hope for a miracle.


    > MacAskill, et al, released Al-Megrahi to avoid having to be on the hook for US$2.7bn if the SCCRC report found grounds for appeal.

    That was long determined at the time: it did.

    > I think Al-Megrahi is guilty, but US$2.7bn is a lot of money to be on the hook for...

    Anyone is entitled to believe Megrahi is guilty, just as well as they are entitled to believe that Robert Black was involved, or any other person on the planet alive at the time.

    Oddly enough, I don't know one single person who says "Megrahi is guilty" but still is willing to discuss the evidence.

    I don't believe Megrahi was guilty.

    1. Luqa's counting of suitcases is a pretty final matter. Much more reliable than the interpretation of the Frankfurt data.
    2. Guaci's numerous statements all pointed _away_ from Megrahi, until very late.
    3. Anyone operating a digital timer, and setting the time of explosion so close to departure at the busiest time of the year would be too stupid to be hired as top terrorist.
    4. The way of the retrieval of the timer, the mere existence of the fragment, the lack of explosive residue, the history of Thurman and a high number of other oddities makes it unlikely that it was ever used. This also points against the involvement of Megrahi - unless of course somebody would suggest that Megrahi was involved but he did not use the timer.

    Against the guilt of Megrahi also counts, that other ways would be much more plausible:

    5. The existence of other terrorist groups using the Toshiba-radio method and a way of detonation which would match the time of explosion.
    6. The break-in into Heathrow, perfectly matching an opportunity to place a bomb in the luggage. This is nothing short of a miracle. If you come home and find your front door open, and something was stolen inside, you'd be likely to connect these matters, right?

    Could you please explain where you would disagree with me on above, and bring your reasons for saying that you believe he is guilty?

  7. He won't SM. He prefers the distraction of Megraghi's release.