Lockerbie case still open, Scotland says

May 21, 2012 at 1:14 PM
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EDINBURGH, Scotland, May 21 (UPI) -- The death of the man convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, should end the conspiracy theories, the Scottish government said.

The family of former Libyan intelligence officer Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi confirmed he died in Tripoli during the weekend after a long bout with prostate cancer.

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said a cancer diagnosis formed a basis for his release from custody.

Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill had said the decision to release Megrahi in 2009 was in line with policies set by prison and medical authorities.

Salmond added that Megrahi's death should "put to rest some of the conspiracy theories which have attempted to suggest that his illness was somehow manufactured."

Megrahi was said to have about three months to live at the time of his release.

Scotland's top lawyer, Frank Mulholland, told the FBI in December he believed the 1988 bombing, in which 270 people were killed, was an act of state-sponsored terrorism. Salmond, for his part, said authorities in Edinburgh suspect Megrahi didn't act alone.

"The Lockerbie case remains a live investigation, and Scotland's criminal justice authorities have made clear that they will rigorously pursue any new lines of inquiry," he said in a statement.

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