July 5th, 2010
08:26 PM ET

Doctor: Released Lockerbie bomber could live much longer

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi in Libya in 2009.

A British cancer expert who said the man convicted in the 1988 plane bombing over Scotland had about three months to live before the prisoner's release last year now says the Libyan could survive another decade or more.

Dr. Karol Sikora told The Sunday Times that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi – whom Scotland's government released on compassionate grounds in August after being diagnosed with prostate cancer - could live another 10 or even 20 years.

Scotland's justice secretary said last year that the decision to release the Lockerbie bomber was made after medical reports showed he had terminal cancer and perhaps three months to live.

"It's embarrassing that [al Megrahi has] gone on for so long," Sikora told The Sunday Times for a report published this week.

Al Megrahi, 58, is the only person convicted in the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, which killed 270 people, including 189 Americans. Scotland's decision to release him on compassionate grounds was made about eight and a half years after he was sentenced to life in prison.

He was released to his native Libya, and a celebration of his homecoming there infuriated some families of the Pan Am 103 victims.

Sikora, medical director of CancerPartnersUK, was hired by Libyan authorities to help determine al Megrahi's life expectancy in July 2009, The Sunday Times reported.

"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]," Sikora said, according to The Sunday Times.

He said he wasn't pressured. "There was a 50 percent chance that he would die in three months, but there was also a 50 percent chance that he would live longer," Sikora said, according to The Sunday Times.

The Libyan government forwarded his findings, along with those of two other experts, to Scottish authorities before Megrahi was released, The Sunday Times reported. Sikora is the only British doctor contacted by the paper to "admit to having endorsed the three-month prediction," The Sunday Times wrote.

After Scotland released al Megrahi last year, Scotland Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill told CNN he was acting on advice from the director of health and social care for Scottish Prison Services, the prison governor and "other relevant bodies of Scotland."

Since al Megrahi's release, the British and Scottish governments have denied allegations he was let go to clear the way for British oil deals with Libya.

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Filed under: Justice • Libya • Terrorism • United Kingdom
soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. Sydney Australia

    Kregel – you dolt. The picture at the beginning of this article – that is not the doctor. That is the bomber!!

    July 6, 2010 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. MOKAMBA

    Still the guy needs to be killed. It seems that there was a trick to release him. Get him and kill him. He killed people. He needs to die for that reason.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  3. Ian McCormick

    I'm a pretty liberal dude, but I just punched a hole in the wall out of frustration.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. HF

    Eurpoe stupid, liberal dumb-ask suckers, you should have burried him, anything less was ..... stupid or was it MORONIC.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bob

    Well, only one thing left to do...

    Hopefully a surviving family member executes this POS with extreme torture beforehand.

    July 6, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  6. John

    And to think all those hoity toity snots who live on the east side of Atlantic are forever calling Americans stupid....

    July 6, 2010 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Cali

    My Uncle died on Pan Am 103 when I was 6 yearsold but I still remember him well. This piece of trash gets a compassionate relase and a heroes welcome back home.

    And how screwed up is that country, that bombing a plane makes you a hero. Disgrace to humanity, typical Muslims.

    July 6, 2010 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
  8. Aaron

    Bush forgave Khadaffi for Lockerbie for oil money. It looks like the Brits are just as greedy and immoral. Anything for a buck. It's hard to believe these were the same allied that joined forces to defeat the evil Nazi Empire.

    July 6, 2010 at 2:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Floyd451

    The release after a paltry eight years of a man guilty of 270 counts of murder was outrageous, whether he had 20 seconds or 20 years left to live.

    In a way it's a good thing that it's turning out this way, because it will serve to further embarrass and humiliate his allies in the UK justice system. When you release a prisoner, you should be prepared to defend your decision regardless of what he goes on to do. Let's see them try that.

    July 6, 2010 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. Doug

    This deal was so apparent for oil it's crazy to even think anyone would believe anything different ... Come on Scotland, we can see right through you here !

    July 6, 2010 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Lou

    Perhaps the brighter scots emigrated a few generations ago!

    July 6, 2010 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  12. John Lane

    Will someone please explain to me, why would any civilized feel happy because someone died?

    The poet John Donne wrote: ""No man is an island, entire of itself ... If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less ... Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee..."

    July 6, 2010 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. Art

    It is apparent that Scotland is no brighter than its former owner Great Britain. They are obviously not very good at making smart decisions or running a government. Lybia outsmarted them using an Arab doctor in England. What a joke. Of course they made a deal for oil, stupid yes but not that stupid.

    July 6, 2010 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      I thought the name Sikora was polish? What makes you think the doctor was arab? Let's stick with facts people.

      July 6, 2010 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. Howie

    How naive can these officials be, are they really fit to be in office?? the west played for a sucker once again.

    Adios, Howie.

    July 6, 2010 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. Lalo757

    With friends like the Scots and Brits, who the hell needs enemies? First releasing this creep and now trashing our Gulf of Mexico?

    You "lads" always look down on us "yanks" as a bunch of incompetent, uncouth bunch of "gits". Well, now the shoe is on the other foot mates.

    July 6, 2010 at 4:40 am | Report abuse |
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