Son: Libyan Convicted In Lockerbie Bombing Is Dead [VIDEO]
A son says the former Libyan intelligence officer who was the only person ever convicted in the 1988
Lockerbie bombing has died in Tripoli.
Scotland released Abdel Baset al-Megrahi on Aug. 20, 2009, on compassionate grounds to let him return home to die after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. At the time, doctors predicted he had only three months to live.
Anger over the release was further stoked by the hero’s welcome he received on his arrival in Libya — and by subsequent allegations that London had sought his release to preserve business interests in the oil-rich North African nation, strongly denied by the British and Scottish governments.
After his release, he kept a strict silence, living in the family villa surrounded by high walls in a posh Tripoli neighborhood, mostly bedridden or taking a few steps with a cane. Libyan authorities sealed him off from public access. When the one-year anniversary of his release passed, some who visited him said al-Megrahi bitterly mused that the world was rooting for him to die.
His son, Khaled al-Megrahi, confirmed his death in a telephone interview but hung up before giving more details.
To the end, al-Megrahi insisted he had nothing to do with the bombing, which killed 270 people, most of them Americans including 33 New Jersey residents.
Al-Megrahi suffered from prostate cancer. His death was announced Sunday by his son, Khaled.
LAUTENBERG: DIED WITH BLOOD ON HIS HANDS
New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg, who was a member of the President’s Commission to investigate the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, said al-Megrahi “Died with American blood on his hands and will always be remembered as a murderer.” The Democrat called it “shameful” that he was able to spend his final years at home.
Susan Cohen, a Cape May Courthouse mom whose 20 year old daughter was killed in the bombing says al-Megrahi’s death should not be “an excuse” to end any ongoing investigations into who planned and carried out the blast.
“NO PITY” FROM A NJ MOM
Cohen tells The Associated Press she has “no pity” for al-Megrahi and hopes that United States and British officials will now “dig even deeper” into the case .
Cohen was an outspoken opponent of the decision to release al-Megrahi and allow him to return home in 2009 on humanitarian grounds due to prostate cancer. She felt he should have stayed in prison until he died.
STATEMENT FROM SENATOR FRANK LAUTENBERG
“Abdel Baset al-Megrahi died with American blood on his hands and will always be remembered as a murderer. It is shameful that he was released from prison and allowed to spend his final years at home where he was treated as a hero. His death may bring some level of closure to the families of the victims, but his misdeeds will never be forgotten and our pursuit of justice will continue.”
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)