US senator calls for Lockerbie bomber health tests

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi Megrahi is the only person to be convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing

A United States senator has called for American officials to be allowed to examine the health of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al Megrahi.

In a letter to the US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, Senator Robert Menendez insisted Megrahi should be quizzed about the 1988 atrocity.

The bomber returned to Libya in 2009 after being freed from Greenock Prison after a diagnosis of terminal cancer.

Reports have suggested his condition has recently worsened.

Megrahi was the only person convicted of killing 270 people following the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over the south of Scotland town of Lockerbie.

Footage showing him looking close to death was broadcast on US news channel CNN earlier this week.

In his letter, Mr Menendez said it had always been known that Megrahi had not acted alone.

'Heinous attacks'

He wrote: "While news reports suggest that Megrahi may be nearing death, he remains an important source of information about the Pan Am bombing.

"We still do not know who ordered the bombing, who collected the intelligence to carry out the plan, who made the bomb and who - in addition to Megrahi - bears responsibility for this and other heinous attacks."

He said it was "crucial" that Libya's Transitional National Council (TNC) provided access to Megrahi and co-operated with any United States investigation into the Pan Am bombing.

The senator added: "Given that we have been told before that Megrahi was near death when he actually was not, I urge you to call on the TNC to allow American and international officials access to Megrahi immediately in order to conduct an independent assessment of his health status.

"Then, if or when feasible, begin direct questioning of Megrahi as to the involvement of others in the Pan Am 103 bombing."

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