TRIPOLI, (Reuters) – The health of the terminally ill Libyan convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing has deteriorated markedly in the past day, his brother and doctors said on Saturday.
Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was released from prison in Scotland last month on the grounds that he has prostate cancer and does not have long to live.
The United States, and opposition parties in Britain, have criticised the decision to release the man who was sentenced to life in prison in 2001 for his part in blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988, killing 270 people.
“He is at a special ward at Tripoli Medical Centre. His condition has deteriorated radidly since yesterday. He is unable to speak to anyone,” his brother Abdenasser Megrahi told Reuters inside the Centre.
“His situation is worrying. His temperature is at 39.5 degrees (103.1 Fahrenheit),” he added. Normal human body temperature is around 37C (98.6F).
Doctors attending to the patient confirmed Abdenasser’s statement but they declined to give more details.
“We are expecting the result of lab exams from Germany to arrive here before a special committee of doctors release a statement on his health circumstances,” one of the doctors told Reuters, asking not to be named because he was not authorised to speak to the media.
Reuters reporter Ali Shuaib was able to enter Megrahi’s room and tried to speak to him.”He could not utter words. He cannot speak,” he said.
“I was due to interview him from his hospital bed but he can not speak to me because of the apparent sudden deterioration of his health,” Shuaib added.