The Lockerbie bomber has become a "pariah" in Libya as the public and politicians turn against him as an "embarrassing" reminder of the crimes of Colonel Gaddafi.
Author Lindsey Hilsom, who spent decades reporting from the country as a foreign correspondent, said Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi is "not very popular" with ordinary Libyans.
Even members of Megrahi's tribe, the one-million strong Megraha, are said to have turned their backs on him and his links with the hated Muammar Gaddafi.
The dying former secret agent is also coming under increasing pressure from the new authorities to give evidence against more senior figures in the tyrant's regime.
Gaddafi's spy chief and Megrahi's cousin Abdullah al-Senussi, who has been under arrest in Mauritania since March, is the number one target of the new Libyan government. (...)
Ms Hilsom, whose new book Sandstorm chronicles Gaddafi's brutal rule, said: "There is a fight over Senussi; the ICC want him, the French want him and the Libyans want him for a prison massacre in 1996, so the more evidence they can find the happier they will be.
"Megrahi is in an extremely difficult position. The interim government would like the Lockerbie issue to be resolved for once and all, so he is under pressure to provide evidence about who higher up than him was involved."
If Megrahi were to give evidence against his relative, who recruited him to Libya's secret service in the 1980s, he would be likely to contradict his own version of events.
He has always maintained he was wrongfully convicted of the murders of 270 people, before being released with terminal prostate cancer in 2009.
Megrahi, who published a book [Megrahi:]You are my Jury earlier this year, says that Iran ordered the bombing in retaliation for the USA shooting down a passenger jet. [RB: the author of the book is John Ashton, not Abdelbaset Megrahi; and Megrahi (who is extensively quoted in it) makes no such claim about Iranian responsibility.]
Ms Hilsom, who spent months covering the uprising last year and visited Megrahi's home in Tripoli, added that he was no longer treated as a "hero" by ordinary people.
She said: "He represents in some ways the crimes of the Gaddafi regime and he wants to stay out of the public eye because he is not very popular.
"People are very ashamed of what Gaddafi did in the world, including Lockerbie. Libyans feel that Gaddafi was an embarrasment and they see Megrahi and the whole Lockerbie thing as part of that.
"He is seen as a pariah, an embarrasment from the previous regime."
She added: "Like everybody else in Libya, last year would have been very difficult for him. For months, you couldn't just drive across town to get your medicine, for example.
"Megrahi was an apparatchik of Gaddafi, he was one of Gaddafi's men so after he was toppled his family expressed some fear that they would be treated badly by the new authorities.
"However, I've seen no evidence they have been treated badly. He seems to be able to get the treatment he needs and is still living a reasonable life in Tripoli."
[The following comment from Peter Biddulph appears beneath the article on the Express website:]
Ben Borland refers to the recent publication of a book "You are my Jury".
What he fails to mention is that the book gives a factual account of laboratory experiments conducted by two top metallurgists, including one at Sheffield's Hallam university, which prove conclusively that a fragment of a timer board said to have been found at Lockerbie could not have come from a batch sold to Libya.
The experiments completely destroy the prosecution case against Al-Megrahi.
There are indications, too, that the fragment found at Lockerbie was a fake, introduced into an evidence bag so as to turn the investigation away from Iran, to one which would accuse Libya of the bombing.
The information is there. Ben Borland should study it. Lord David Steel has looked at the evidence and in a TV interview just days ago on Scottish TV said that the verdict against Al-Megrahi was "highly unsatisfactory".
Ben, you are welcome to contact us and see it for yourself. Google my name and the links will come up.