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Lockerbie bomber death report probe
Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi has died in Tripoli, his brother said.
Megrahi was sentenced to life in prison for the 1988 bombing of a US airliner over the Scottish town which claimed 270 lives. He was released from jail on August 20 2009 on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and sent home to Tripoli with an estimated three months to live.
The decision by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to free the only man convicted of bombing of Pan Am flight 103 provoked an international storm.
His death at his Tripoli home at the age of 59 was announced by his son, Khaled. The bombing of the American plane, travelling from London to New York four days before Christmas, killed all 259 people on board.
Eleven residents of the Dumfries and Galloway town also died after the plane crashed down on their homes in Britain's biggest terrorist atrocity. After protracted international pressure, Megrahi was put on trial under Scots law at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands. He was found guilty in 2001 of mass murder and was ordered to serve a minimum of 27 years behind bars.
Despite claims that he could not have worked alone, and the lingering suspicion by some that he was innocent, Megrahi was the only man ever convicted over the terrorist attack. He was freed from prison having served nearly eight years of his sentence after he dropped his second appeal against conviction at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.
Mr MacAskill's decision to allow him to return home to die in Libya sparked international condemnation from some relatives of victims and politicians, who demanded he be returned to jail.
US families were among the most vocal critics of the decision, along with US president Barack Obama. US secretary of state Hillary Clinton branded the move "absolutely wrong". American fury at the decision was compounded by the hero's welcome Megrahi received in Tripoli upon his return.
Prime Minister David Cameron has also come under pressure from some US senators for an independent inquiry into the decision to free the bomber. But the move attracted support from some victims' relatives in Britain, and high profile figures such as Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
David Ben-Ayreah, a spokesman for the victims of Lockerbie families, said: "I was told seven days ago by very good sources in Tripoli that he was slipping in and out of quite deep comas, that the secondary tumours had affected his abdomen and lower chest, and that he had had three blood transfusions. His death is to be deeply regretted. As someone who attended the trial I have never taken the view that Megrahi was guilty. Megrahi is the 271st victim of Lockerbie."