Video: Lockerbie bomber could live 10 years

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    >>> is he sick or isn't he? it's been almost a year since the man convicted for his role in the pan am 103 bombing released by scottish authorities on compassionate grounds. al megrahi allowed to return to libya because doctors said he had three months to live. that was 12 months ago. many are outraged. martin fletcher joining us live with the story. martin, good sunday morning to you. i can imagine a lot of outrage.

    >> reporter: that's right. families are angry of the victims and because doctors say he's no longer getting chemo chemotherapy and could live with the cancer for another ten years. families of the victims are furious. the bomber's father is hoping for a complete recovery in fact, though that seem to be bushfwishful thinking. in libya he's treated as a hero, doctors say that could be giving him a psychological boost. it's helping him recover. when al megrahi released a year ago, the british government had been the middle of negotiations with libya about lucrative trade agreements , including a big oil exploration deal with millions. the oil company that allegedly benefited from his release, guess who, bp. for al megrahi today, he's writing his memoirs claiming as he always has done, that he didn't do anyway.

    >> claims he's on his deathbed, doctors support the story, released from prison and now living in a luxury surrounded hi his family. the doctor who said that he would maybe only have three months to live, now say his could live foreanother ten years. so, of course, there's a lot of confusion and embarrassment by the doctor, anger among the victims' families and embarrassment for the british government because they released him on humanitarian grounds and it turns out, not only as earlier shown there was commercial interest in the discussions with the libyan government but the fact that he's not only not dead but appears to be thriving, imagine what that's doing to britain and scotland where most of the families live. staff and news service reports
updated 7/4/2010 10:03:03 AM ET 2010-07-04T14:03:03

A doctor who said the man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 had only three months to live now says the Libyan could survive another 10 years, London's Sunday Times reported.

Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who was convicted of 270 counts of murder for being behind the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, was released on compassionate grounds in 2009, after doctors said he only had a few months to live.

Specialist Karol Sikora told the newspaper it was "embarrassing" that al-Megrahi, who has prostate cancer and received a hero's welcome upon his return to Libya, had managed to outlive the prognosis. 

The report is sure to re-ignite accusations that Scottish authorities bowed to pressure from Libya and the British government to release al-Megrahi, who American officials accuse of being an officer of the Libyan intelligence service.

"There is always a chance that he would live for 10 years ... but it's very unusual," Sikora told the Times.

"There was a 50 percent chance that he would die in three months," he added, "but there was also a 50 percent chance that he would live longer."

While at the time of his release the Scottish government sited "firm consensus" among medical experts over al-Megrahi's condition, that agreement does not appear to exist, according to the newspaper.

Eight people involved in the case now "suggest" that the Scottish government and Libyan officials selectively chose their information, the Sunday Times reported.

According to an earlier Sunday Times report, a former British justice secretary wrote to his counterpart in Scotland that it was "in the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom" to make it possible for al-Megrahi to return to Libya.

The letter was written in 2007 during stalled negotiations over a BP oil exploration contract worth billions of dollars.

The Scottish government said at the time of the release in August that "life expectancy of less than three months" could make a prisoner eligible for release under compassionate grounds.

Sikora, who was paid 200 pounds (about $304) an hour by the Libyan government for his opinion, told the newspaper that there was always a chance that the Libyan would live longer than three months, but admitted that it was "embarrassing that he's gone on for so long."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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