Lockerbie bomber's family 'preparing to sue Britain for false imprisonment'
The family of released Lockerbie bomber Abdulbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi is preparing to sue Britain for false imprisonment, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi claimed last night.
The Libyan leader said Megrahi remained “very ill” with prostate cancer following his controversial release by the Scottish Government on compassionate grounds in August last year, and blamed his poor health on intentional “neglect” he suffered in prison.
Col Gaddafi said his family will mount a compensation claim once the 58-year-old dies.
“After he passes away his family will demand compensation because he was deliberately neglected in prison,” he said.
“His health was not looked after in prison, and he didn’t have any periodic examinations. I wish him a long life. He was released because he was considered dead, and yet he was still alive.”
Col Gaddafi made the claims during a speech to students and staff at the London School of Economics (LSE) via a live video-link, which is understood to have been organised through his son Saif Al-Gaddafi who has a doctorate from the university.
Col Gaddafi alleged that the case against the former intelligence agent had “been fabricated and created by” former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher and former US President Ronald Reagan.
He even suggested that CIA agents had been behind the 1988 terrorist atrocity, in which 270 people were killed after a Pan Am airline blew up over Scotland.
“These are the people who created this conspiracy,” said Col Gaddafi, referring to Lady Thatcher’s and Mr Reagan’s alleged role in a Megrahi's murder conviction and life sentence over the attack.
“The charges directed towards Libya were based on unfounded evidence in an attempt to weaken the Libyan Revolution and limit its resources and abilities.”
The longevity of Megrahi, who was released on the basis that Scottish health chiefs said he had only three months to live, has provoked anger from victims’ families and US doctors. The father-of-five is now living with his family in Tripoli.
The theory about the CIA’s alleged involvement in the Lockerbie disaster has already been advanced in a controversial documentary film and a number of books.
The Maltese Double Cross — Lockerbie a 1994 documentary produced by the late US director Allan Francovich, alleges that a bomb was introduced onto the ill-fated flight in a CIA-protected suitcase, and had nothing to do with Megrahi.
“Everybody considers him [Megrahi] to be innocent,” Col Gaddafi added.
Since Megrahi’s release, British companies including BP have signed deals to develop Libya’s oil and gas reserves.