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Lockerbie bomber 'close to death'

A father who lost his daughter in the Lockerbie bombing has travelled to Libya to "say goodbye" to the man convicted of the atrocity.

Dr Jim Swire, whose 23-year-old daughter Flora was among 270 people killed when Pam Am Flight 103 blew up over Lockerbie, in Dumfries and Galloway, four days before Christmas in 1988, said Abdelbaset al-Megrahi "does not have much time left".

Megrahi was freed on compassionate grounds from Greenock Prison in Inverclyde in August 2009 after being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. At the time doctors estimated that he had only three months to live.

He was found guilty of carrying out the bombing by a Scottish court sitting at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands in 2001 and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Dr Swire said he has doubted Megrahi's guilt ever since the trial, and since then he has become "entirely satisfied" that he was not to blame.

He spent just over a week in Libya's capital Tripoli, and said he believes it is the last time he will see Megrahi alive.

The 75-year-old, who lives in Gloucestershire, said: "It was very much a trip for me to say goodbye to him, which is something I wanted to do because he is very much terminally ill. He doesn't have much time left.

"He is quite unable to get out of bed and he can only speak in short sentences now because of his shortness of breath. I wanted to make sure he has the right pain killers, as I used to be a doctor, and he did.

"Although he is in a lot of pain he is still very concerned about making sure I am able to see documents his defence solicitors had (during the trial) after he dies.

"He realises that all I'm trying to do is find out who murdered our daughter. It may seem unusual but I have come to regard him as a friend and he has a very generous heart to be worried about that matter when he is so close to death."

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