"New facts" will come out within months, the convicted Lockerbie bomber tells Reuters
Abdelbeset al-Megrahi was said to be in a coma in August when CNN visited his home
In the interview taped Sunday, he remains in bed but appears lucid
The truth about the bombing of a PanAm airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 will come out “one day, and hopefully in the near future,” the only man convicted the bombing told Reuters in an interview aired Monday.
“In a few months from now, you will see new facts that will be announced,” Abdelbeset al-Megrahi told Reuters. “I don’t want to speak about that because there are people who are looking after that themselves.”
Al-Megrahi’s comments come about five weeks after CNN’s Nic Roberston visited al-Megrahi’s home, where his family said he was in a coma and near death from terminal prostate cancer.
At the time of his late August visit, Robertson found al-Megrahi in a metal hospital bed, attached to an IV drip and cared for by an elderly woman that the family said was his mother. He was, Robertson said, “paper-thin, his face sallow and sunken.”
“Clearly he is in a better condition than when I saw him a month ago,” Robertson said Monday.
In the Reuters interview, which the news agency said was recorded Sunday, he remained in bed and at one point was given an oxygen mask to wear, but he appeared lucid.
He spoke about his disease and Libyan affairs, and appeared to claim innocence by protesting that he was the victim of the Scottish court that set up at Camp Zeist, a former U.S. military base, as part of an international agreement to try him and a second man.
“Camp Zeist Court is the smallest place on earth that contains the largest number of liars,” he told Reuters. “I suffered from the liars at Camp Zeist Court more than you can imagine.”
Robertson said al-Megrahi’s family told him they believe al-Megrahi was the victim of both international justice and the regime of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who they say used him as a scapegoat.
While al-Megrahi told Reuters that he had been treated badly since his return to Libya, Robertson said Monday that his family is building a “huge new house in a very upmarket part of Tripoli.”
Given Gadhafi’s ouster, Robertson said, it’s not clear why al-Megrahi isn’t speaking out now about what he knows about the bombing, but it’s clear he has answers that many people would like to hear.
The court convicted al-Megrahi of murder in the 1988 bombing of PanAm Flight 103, which fell from the sky after the explosion, killing 259 people on the airplane and 11 people on the ground.
Prosecutors said al-Megrahi, the former chief of security for Libyan Arab Airlines in Malta, brought the bomb to Malta. A second man was accused of placing the bomb aboard the plane. The court acquitted him.
The Scottish government granted al-Megrahi a compassionate release in 2009 for medical reasons. He was said to have had only months to live when he was released two years ago.
His family told Robertson that al-Megrahi hadn’t seen a doctor since they rescued him from a hospital before Tripoli fell to rebel forces, whom he said looted the medicine from their home.
“We just give him oxygen,” his son, Khaled, told Robertson in August. “Nobody gives us any advice. And some food by injection (drip). … If you see, his body he is weak.”
In the Reuters interview, al-Megrahi said he is still having trouble obtaining the medicine.
He also said that he hopes the violence in Libya ends soon.
“I wish from God that I will see my country united, with no fighting or war,” he told Reuters.