August 19th, 2009
01:19 PM ET

Scotland expected to release Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/08/18/lockerbie.appeal.granted/art.megrahi.gi.jpg caption="Convicted bomber Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, pictured in 1992, has terminal cancer."]

Elise Labott
CNN State Department Producer

Scottish court is expected to release convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi on compassionate grounds, senior State Department officials tell CNN.

Al Megrahi, 57, is suffering from terminal prostate cancer. He is serving a life sentence for bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people.

The Scottish government has informally notified the State Department of the decision, the senior officials said. But they added the conditions of his release are still being finalized. The announcement is expected to be made at 1 p.m. Thursday (8 a.m. EST).

Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has been considering two applications - one for Megrahi to be moved to Libya under a prisoner transfer agreement, and a separate one for him to be given compassionate early release to go home to die with his family.

The Pan Am flight exploded December 21, 1988, as it flew over Scotland on its way from London to New York. All 259 people aboard the plane died along with 11 Scots on the ground.

Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    I think he should be sent to Libya under a prisoner transfer agreement but no compassionate early release. He killed over 270 people 0 what compassion did he show them??

    August 19, 2009 at 8:32 pm |
  2. josh

    I think it is absolutely unbelievable that they would release a man that was responsible for killing over 200 people (most americans) on compassionate grounds. Where was the compassion when he took all of those lives? He deserved to be killed for what he did, and now he will go back to Libya as a hero to "die with his family".

    August 19, 2009 at 7:33 pm |