Megrahi lawyer seeks Sky apology after 'death' broadcast

THE Lockerbie bomber's lawyer last night called for an apology from the satellite broadcaster Sky News after it reported that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi had died.

Tony Kelly said he had spoken to his client yesterday afternoon in the minutes after Sky had reported that Megrahi had passed away. The report, which aired at about 4pm, was quickly altered to include Kelly's denial.

Last night the exact state of Megrahi's health remained unclear. The bomber is suffering from prostate cancer and was freed in August after prison service doctors decided it was "reasonable" to conclude he had less than three months to live.

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East Renfrewshire Council, which is monitoring Megrahi's health as part of his licence agreement, said it had not been informed of any development regarding the bomber's health.

Meanwhile MPs are to study the handling of the case as part of a wider probe into relations between Westminster and Holyrood. The inquiry by the Commons Scottish Affairs select committee will also study how a prisoner transfer agreement was negotiated between Libya and the UK.

The release of Megrahi on compassionate grounds led to a storm of protest from American relatives of Lockerbie victims.

Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland, said: "I am pleased that the committee has agreed to look into the handling and consequences of the release of al-Megrahi. This is not about blame, but is about seeing how this situation arose and what lessons can be learned."