TRIPOLI (Reuters) - The former Libyan intelligence officer convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people was transferred to hospital on Friday after his health deteriorated quickly, his brother said.
Abdulbasit al-Megrahi was taken from his Tripoli home to a private hospital, his brother Abdulhakim told Reuters. “His health began to deteriorate quickly and we were worried about him, so took him immediately to the hospital where he is receiving a blood transfusion,” he said.
Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 as it flew to New York from London. All 259 people aboard the airliner were killed and 11 others on the ground in the Scottish town of Lockerbie died from falling wreckage.
Britain freed him in 2009 on compassionate grounds because he was suffering from advanced terminal prostate cancer and thought to have months to live.
His release angered many relatives of the victims, 189 of whom were American, and the Obama administration criticized the decision. A number of U.S. politicians have pressed for his extradition to the United States, something Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council said it would not do.
Megrahi, who served as an intelligence agent during the rule of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, denied any role in suspected human rights abuses in his home country before Gaddafi’s fall and death in a popular uprising last year.
Writing By Hadeel Al-Shalchi; Editing by Mark Heinrich