Lockerbie bomber 'may live 20 years'

NEW demands have been made for the Scottish Government to release the full medical reports behind the decision to release the Lockerbie bomber last year.

SNP ministers have been urged to come clean on the medical evidence following two conflicting, unconfirmed reports on the health of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.

One report suggested that medical treatment had been withdrawn, which means he has just weeks to live, while another suggested that he might survive for another ten to 20 years.

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At the time of justice secretary Kenny MacAskill's decision to release Megrahi in August last year, a short summary of advice which was made available showed that only a prison doctor believed he had less than six months to live, while four specialists would not commit to the estimate. With Megrahi just a month from celebrating a year out of jail, more questions are being asked over why he was released.

Tory justice spokesman, MSP John Lamont, said: "There are growing suspicions that the SNP decided to release the Lockerbie bomber and then found facts to fit the decision.

"Their refusal to publish the medical reports only adds fuel to the flames of suspicion

"As well as making all the evidence public, the SNP government must publish full details of the regular reports it is supposed to receive from Libya concerning Mr Megrahi's health.

"More and more people are asking, 'Why was the Lockerbie bomber really set free?'."

Megrahi is the only man convicted of the murder of 270 people when Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie on 21 December, 1988.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "Mr al-Megrahi has terminal prostate cancer.

"He was released on compassionate grounds and allowed home to die based on the medical report of the Scottish Prison Service director of health and the recommendations of the parole board and prison governor."