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Lockerbie bomber reportedly at death's door

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Lockerbie bomber reportedly at death's door

Al-Megrahi said to be in coma

  • Abdel Baset al-Megrahi arrives in Tripoli after being released from prison in August 2009.
    telegraphtv screengrabAbdel Baset al-Megrahi arrives in Tripoli after being released from prison in August 2009.

The Libyan convicted in the bombing of a U.S.-bound plane over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed more than 200 people, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, is unlikely to face extradition because he is "at death's door."

CNN correspondent Nic Robertson reported Sunday that he found Megrahi in the Libyan capital Tripoli. He was being held at his mother's house and guarded by six security cameras.

Robertson said the convicted bomber looked close to dying and lay unconscious in a bed during his visit. His relatives told Robertson he occasionally lapsed into a coma and had stopped eating, Reuters reports.

"He appears to be a shell of the man that he was, far sicker than he appeared before ... at death's door," he said.

Megrahi was being held in a Scottish prison but released two years ago because of his failing health. He was reportedly suffering from advanced terminal prostate cancer.

Megrahi was convicted for his role in bombing Pan Am flight 103, which was flying from London to New York on Dec. 21, 1988. All 259 people on board died, along with 11 people on the ground hit by falling debris. He was sentenced to 27 years imprisonment.

The images of Megrahi looking close to death effectively ended the calls for the bomber's extradition, the Guardian reports. American politicians, lawyers and relatives of the Lockerbie victims had been calling for his re-arrest.

British foreign minister Andrew Mitchell said the question of extradition was now "academic."

"It's clear that many of these matters are now academic as his life is drawing to a close … it's clear from reports today that he has not got much longer to live," he said.

Meanwhile, the chief of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) Mostafa Abdel Jalil said Muammar al-Gaddafi is still a threat to Libya and the world, as his whereabouts and a stockpile of weapons remain unknown.

Most of the past week's fighting in Tripoli has stopped, and the rebels are now advancing to the Gaddafi stronghold and hometown of Sirte.

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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libya, lockerbie, muammar gaddafi, tripoli

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