Lockerbie bomber won’t let public see his health records

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By Cara Sulieman

THE LOCKERBIE bomber has banned his health reports from becoming public.

After being released with just three months to live last August, Abdelbaset al Megrahi has to provide East Renfrewshire Council with a monthly update on his health.

But his lawyers have been asked to prevent the public from getting their hands on the reports, which are used to keep to Scottish Government informed of the Libyan’s progress.

Opposition politicians have been calling for the information on his health to be made public. They argue that the public have a right to know what’s happening.

“Something to hide”

Labour MSP George Foulkes believes the information should be released – calling for it to be given out under the terms of the Freedom on Information Act.

East Renfrewshire Council monitor Megrahi because his family lived in Newton Mearns during his time in jail.

George Foulkes said: “If the medical evidence backed up the decision to release Megrahi, then there should be no reason why it can’t be published.

“The lawyers’ refusal and the government’s refusal can only mean that they both have something to hide.

“It is a matter of public importance.”

“Radically downhill”

And family of those killed in the bombing attack are also demanding the information’s release.

Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was a victim, believes it may help explain the “puzzle” of the Libyan’s treatment.

Dr Swire said: “It was a group of doctors that advised Kenny MacAskill that he only had three months to live.

“What strikes me as strange as a doctor myself is that he was going radically downhill in prison but when he got to Tripoli he had chemotherapy and his condition improved quite quickly.”

And Kathleen Flynn, from New Jersey, whose 21-year-old son John Patrick died, said: “The bigger issue is why Megrahi was ever released on compassionate grounds.”

Data Protection

In a letter to George Foulkes, East Renfrewshire Council solicitor Anne Leonard said: “I have been advised that Mr Megrahi does not consent to the release of his personal data.”

And a council spokesman said: “Their release would breach the Data Protection Act.”

Abdelbaset al Megrahi was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2001 for blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie on December 21, 1988.

The blast killed 259 people on board the Boeing 747 and 11 on the ground.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill released the bomber seven months ago after he was told he was dying of prostate cancer.

Megrahi was allowed home to Libya on August 20 and received a hero’s welcome when he touched down in Tripoli.

Under the terms of his release he has to take part in a video link with council officials.

But he has been deemed too ill to take part in video calls and they have had to contact him by phone.

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