Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing "remains a sick man," although he is in better shape than might be expected, according to a victim's father who visited him in Tripoli.
Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora, 24, died when a Pan Am Boeing 747 exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 killing 259 people on board and 11 people on the ground, told Malta's Sunday Times newspaper he met al-Megrahi on Tuesday in the Libyan capital.
Megrahi, 58, was controversially released from a Scottish prison in August 2009 on compassionate grounds because he is suffering prostate cancer.
"Abdel Baset remains a sick man, but he is in better shape than I had dared to hope," Swire, 74, told the newspaper. "His mind is perfectly clear. I attribute this to the love and care of his family and community, and to some extent also to the excellent medical care he seems to be receiving."
Swire said he was always sure, on the basis of the trial and evidence which emerged afterwards, that Megrahi was innocent. He said the Libyan had blamed the evidence of a Maltese shopkeeper for his conviction, claiming he was betrayed "for money."
The shopkeeper identified the Libyan as having bought clothes which were wrapped around the bomb which downed the airliner.
U.S. anger over the release resurfaced in recent months after American politicians questioned whether oil giant BP had lobbied Scotland for Megrahi's release so as to facilitate the signing of contracts with Libya. BP and Scottish ministers deny the accusations.