By a Newsnet reporter
The man convicted of the Lockerbie Bombing has been discovered in a coma and near death by journalists from American news agency CNN.
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was discovered in his family home in Tripoli by CNN reporter Nic Robertson who described the Libyan as being in a coma and being kept alive by an intravenous drip and oxygen.
According to CNN the dying Libyan has been cared for by his son and mother who have had no support since the Libyan capital Tripoli fell to the rebels.
“We just give him oxygen. Nobody gives us any advice,” his son, Khaled Elmegarhi, told CNN.
“There is no doctor. There is nobody to ask. We don’t have any phone line to call anybody,” he added.
Mr Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds in August 2009 after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. His survival for two years has led to claims from Unionist and US politicians that the medical diagnosis was flawed.
A UK prostate cancer specialist recently suggested that new drugs, yet to be licenced in the UK, could have been responsible for Megrahi’s survival. The civil war in Libya has affected medical supplies and members of Megrahi’s family claimed thieves have stolen his medication.
Al Megrahi has always maintained his innocence with regards to the Lockerbie bombing and an investigation by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) has cast considerable doubt on some of the evidence used to convict the Libyan.
The Scottish government recently announced its intention to publish the SCCRC report.
Meanwhile a request by the UK for Megrahi and the man suspected of shooting PC Yvonne Fletcher to be handed over was rebuffed by the new rebel leaders who stated they would not hand over Libyan’s to the west.
It also emerged that an extradition treaty negotiated by the UK government did not allow for the transfer of Libyans to the UK as Libyan law forbade such extraditions.
The news will come as an embarrassment to UK Ministers and Scottish Labour and Tory politicians who have been calling for Megrahi to be handed over to UK authorities after he failed to maintain contact with Renfrewshire council.
The revelation that the treaty was ‘one way’ will bring back memories of Labour’s Deal in the Desert when in 2007 Tony Blair negotiated a secret prisoner transfer agreement (PTA) with Muammar Gadaffi designed to repatriate a then healthy Megrahi back to Libya.
However the SNP government refused to support the PTA and Megrahi was eventually released only after he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.