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Report: Libyans paid for bomber's exam

Sept. 6, 2009 at 5:34 PM

LONDON, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Seemingly objective medical advice used to justify the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was actually paid for by Libya, sources say.

Al-Megrahi, 57, who has terminal prostate cancer, was released from a Scottish jail last month on compassionate grounds when a three-doctor team advised the Scottish government he had only three months to live. But the doctors delivering the opinion were paid for by the Libyan government, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

The release of al-Megrahi, the only Libyan terrorist convicted of the 1988 bombing of a Pan American jet that killed 270 people over Lockerbie, Scotland, was greeted with international condemnation. Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill granted al-Megrahi's release based in part on the findings of the medical panel that his case qualified for compassionate grounds, which is defined as prisoner having three months or less to live.

The Sunday Telegraph said two of the three doctors provided three-month estimates, with the third also reportedly indicating that the prisoner had a short time to live -- a prognosis one of the doctors said was encouraged by the Libyans.

"The figure of three months was suggested as being helpful (by the Libyans)," Dr. Karol Sikora told the newspaper.

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