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Libya denies bomber is in ICU

Megrahi’s cancer reported to worsen since his release

By Khaled El-Deeb
Associated Press / September 3, 2009

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TRIPOLI, Libya - Libya denied reports yesterday that the only man convicted in the 1998 Lockerbie bombing was taken to intensive care after his illness from terminal prostate cancer worsened.

A Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mohammad Seyala, said Abdel Baset al-Megrahi has actually been moved to a special VIP wing of the hospital in Libya’s capital, Tripoli, where he is being treated.

“Al-Megrahi is not in a dangerous situation and is receiving full treatment from a team of Libyan doctors,’’ said Seyala.

Megrahi’s family said earlier yesterday that doctors informed them that their relative was moved to intensive care but that they had not been allowed to visit him in the unit. They spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of government reaction.

Seyala said the family has not been allowed to visit Megrahi in the VIP wing to ensure his safety.

Scottish officials released Megrahi from prison Aug. 20 on compassionate grounds, sparking an international uproar.

At the time, Scottish officials said doctors had determined he had less than three months to live.

Libyan officials have said previously that Megrahi’s health has swiftly deteriorated since he returned home.

On Tuesday, the head of the Libyan State Information Agency, Majid al-Dursi, said Megrahi was in the hospital and described him as “very sick.’’

“His health is deteriorating fast since he arrived,’’ Dursi said.

Television footage on Britain’s Channel 4 Sunday showed Megrahi in the hospital, breathing through an oxygen mask.

Megrahi was the only person convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people.

His release from prison and warm welcome in Libya, where he was greeted at the airport by cheering supporters, have been sharply criticized by victims’ families in the United States, President Obama, and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.