Abdelbaset al-Megrahi : biography
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi ( , ; 1 April 1952 – 20 May 2012) was head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines, director of the Centre for Strategic Studies in Tripoli, Libya, and an alleged Libyan intelligence officer. On 31 January 2001, Megrahi was convicted, by a panel of three Scottish judges sitting in a special court at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands, of 270 counts of murder for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on 21 December 1988 and was sentenced to life imprisonment. His co-accused, Lamin Khalifah Fhimah, was found not guilty and was acquitted.
Megrahi unsuccessfully appealed his conviction in January 2001. In June 2007 the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission granted Megrahi leave to appeal against his Lockerbie bombing conviction for a second time. After initially appealing, Megrahi abandoned his second appeal in August 2009 as an ongoing appeal would have prevented him from being moved to Libya under the Prisoner Transfer Scheme which was thought to be a possibility in 2009.
Several legal experts as well as the UN observer at the Lockerbie trial have vehemently challenged the verdict that convicted Megrahi,Blum, William, "The Bombing of PanAm Flight 103 Case Not Closed", http://www.trinicenter.com/oops/lockerbie.html while Ulrich Lumpert, the Mebo AG engineer who testified to the validity of a key piece of evidence, admitted in an affidavit to lying in court and stealing the object from his employer, after which he gave it to one of the crime investigators.
Megrahi was freed on compassionate grounds by the Scottish Government on 20 August 2009 following doctors reporting on 10 August 2009 that he had terminal prostate cancer and was expected to have around three months to live. On his return to Libya, al-Megrahi was initially hospitalized but was allowed to leave on 2 November 2009, taking up residence in a villa in Tripoli. In October 2011 Al-Megrahi gave an interview from his bed in which he claimed that he had only days, weeks or months to live. He died on 20 May 2012 nearly three years after his release.
Family and health
Megrahi married Aisha in 1982. They had five children: four sons and one married daughter.
On 19 September 2008, armed police escorted Megrahi from prison in Greenock to Inverclyde Royal Hospital, where he was expected to undergo medical treatment. On 23 September 2008, Megrahi was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, prompting calls for his second appeal to be heard promptly.
On 4 December 2008, Megrahi's family joined others protesting against alleged miscarriages of justice within the Scottish justice system.
An online petition to the Scottish Ministers seeking Megrahi's compassionate release was raised on 19 December 2008. It stated that he was terminally ill and would benefit physically and psychologically from compassionate release to his temporary home in Glasgow while he awaited the outcome of the appeal granted to him by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission in June 2007. Since it was likely to be many months before such an appeal was finally decided, the petition asked that Megrahi be allowed to spend his "very limited" remaining time in Scotland with his family and loved ones.
On 4 August 2009, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice in Scotland, Kenny MacAskill, visited Greenock Prison to hear Megrahi's request for a prisoner transfer to Libya. The following week it was reported that Megrahi was likely to be released within a few days on compassionate grounds due to terminal prostate cancer, although the Scottish Government dismissed this as "complete speculation";meanwhile, a United States official said that the U.S. had no information suggesting Megrahi would be released and that he should serve out his sentence. MacAskill faced international pressure from politicians in the United Kingdom and United States, with U.S. victims’ groups and Syracuse University (which lost 25 students in the Lockerbie bombing) all urging him not to release Megrahi.
In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine