The Libyan convicted in the 1988 bombing of a U.S.-bound airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, has been found in Tripoli and appears “at death's door,” CNN reported Sunday.
CNN correspondent Nic Robertson said he found Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in what was described as a palatial house in an upmarket part of Tripoli, guarded by at least six security cameras and attended to by concerned relatives.
“He appears to be a shell of the man that he was, far sicker than he appeared before ... at death's door,'' Robertson said of Megrahi, who returned to Libya two years ago after being released from a Scottish prison for health reasons.
The alleged ex-Libyan intelligence agent agent apparently lay unconscious in a bed during Robertson's visit. Megrahi's relatives said he was being kept alive with oxygen and a fluid drip, had stopped eating and occasionally lapses into a coma, CNN reported.
"We just give him oxygen. Nobody gives us any advice," his son, Khaled al-Megrahi, told CNN.
Scottish authorities said several days ago that they had lost contact with Megrahi during the chaotic conditions caused by Libyan rebels' climactic push to oust long-time ruler
Megrahi was found guilty of bombing Pan Am flight 103 while en route from London to New York on Dec. 21, 1988. All 259 people aboard the plane were killed and 11 others on the ground
in Lockerbie also died from falling wreckage.
He was sentenced to a minimum of 27 years' imprisonment. Scotland's regional government, which operates a criminal justice system independent of London, decided to release Megrahi in 2009 because he supposedly was suffering from advanced terminal prostate cancer.
He received a hero's welcome in Tripoli upon his return, enraging many in the United States and Britain. And with the recent overthrow of longtime Libyan strongman Muammar Gadhafi, politicians on both sides of the Atlantic have called for al-Megrahi to be sent back to prison.
But the National Transitional Council, the rebel movement that toppled Gadhafi, announced Sunday that it won't allow the dying al-Megrahi to be extradited.
"We will not give any Libyan citizen to the West," NTC Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi said.
Al-Megrahi lived far longer than expected. He made a public appearance with Gadhafi in July, and was confined to a wheelchair. He always maintained his innocence.
With the fall of Tripoli to the rebels, his care has been left up to his son and his mother.
"There is no doctor. There is nobody to ask. We don't have any phone line to call anybody," Khaled al-Megrahi said.