Hanging In There

Lockerbie Bomber Still Alive

We didn’t know Libya had such good Hospice care. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, the only person convicted of the 1988 bombing of a U.S. Pan Am jumbo jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270, was predicted to die of cancer within three months of his release in August last year—a release that provoked outrage. (In Scotland, prisoners are eligible for release in certain cases if they have fewer than three months to live.) “There was a 50 percent chance that he would die in three months,” said Professor Karol Sikora, the dean of medicine at Buckingham University who was paid to assess al-Megrahi's medical condition, “but there was also a 50 percent chance that he would live longer.” Sikora denied he came under any pressure from the Libyan government, but admitted that it’s “embarrassing that [al-Megrahi]’s gone on for so long.” Sikora says it’s possible, though unlikely, that al-Megrahi could live for 10 or 20 more years. This month, al-Megrahi was released from an emergency-care unit in Tripoli.