It was the worst terrorist attack in Britain’s history, the deadliest assault on U.S. civilians until 9/11 and a political powder keg that roiled governments around the world.
On Dec. 21, 1988, a bomb exploded in the forward cargo hold of Pan Am Flight 103, a jetliner flying from London to New York. Within less than a minute, the Boeing 747 splintered into thousands of pieces and fell 31,000 feet, smashing down in the village of Lockerbie, Scotland. The impact killed 11 villagers and destroyed 21 homes. None of the 259 people on board the aircraft survived.
On August 21, 2009 Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, the only man convicted of the terrorist attack, was released from the Prison where he had been serving a life sentence. Because he supposedly had less than three months to live, he had been sent home to Libya to die. Under pressure from Great Britain, Scottish courts were forced to show more mercy to al-Megrahi than he showed to the 270 people he killed.
Over ten months later, the mass murderer is still alive and according to the doctor who originally said he had three months to live, the Lockerbie murderer may be around for up to ten more years.
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Professor Sikora, the dean of medicine at Buckingham University and medical director of CancerPartnersUK in London, was paid for his medical assessment of Megrahi at Greenock prison on July last year.
He told the newspaper: “There was always a chance he could live for 10 years, 20 years … But it’s very unusual.
“It was clear that three months was what they were aiming for. Three months was the critical point.
“On the balance of probabilities, I felt I could sort of justify [that].”
He denied he came any under pressure, but admitted: “It is embarrassing that he’s gone on for so long.”
“There was a 50 per cent chance that he would die in three months, but there was also a 50 per cent chance that he would live longer.”
Saif Gaddafi, eldest son of leader Colonel Gaddafi, said in May that Megrahi was still “very sick” with cancer.
It seems as of the Scottish authorities were looking for a doctor would give them the results they needed to be able to release the killer.
The Scottish government provoked outrage from the United States when it released Megrahi from prison in August 2009 on compassionate grounds because he is suffering from terminal cancer.
Megrahi is the only person convicted of the 1988 bombing of a US Pan Am jumbo jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, which left 270 people dead.
But the newspaper claimed that Sikora, the dean of medicine at Buckingham University in southern England, was the only expert the Libyan authorities could find who would agree to put the three-month estimate on Megrahi’s life.
It reported that the advice of two other experts was ignored after they said Megrahi could live for 19 months.
If Megrahi does live for ten more years we can only hope that each day he has remaining is filled with pain and his evenings are haunted with the screams of his victims.