Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Council steps up Megrahi contact

The Scottish council responsible for monitoring the Lockerbie bomber following his release to Libya has stepped up its contact with him

The Scottish council responsible for monitoring the Lockerbie bomber following his release to Libya has stepped up its contact with him in the wake of unrest in Tripoli.

East Renfrewshire Council has been keeping regular communication with Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi by phone and webcam since he was released from Greenock prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds.

The council is responsible for making sure Megrahi adheres to the conditions of his release because members of his family lived in East Renfrewshire while he was in prison.

He was given a life sentence for the 1988 bombing which killed 270 people.

The decision to release the only man convicted of the Lockerbie atrocity sparked fury on both sides of the Atlantic. He is still alive despite doctors suggesting that prostate cancer meant he was likely to die within months.

A council spokesman said the authority wants to speak to Megrahi "imminently". They explained that they wanted to make sure they could continue to maintain contact if the political situation in Tripoli became more volatile.

He said: "Right up to this point, there has been no breach of the release conditions and nothing up to now which gives us cause for concern. The conditions in the country put us into the position where we will need to contact him imminently to make sure we can still maintain that contact."

He said monthly medical reports on Megrahi's prostate cancer continue to be sent to the council.

Meanwhile, New York's US senators are asking the Libyan transitional government to hold the convicted Lockerbie bomber fully accountable for his terrorist actions.

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer have called for Megrahi to be returned to prison.

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