US senators seek Lockerbie bomber medical records

10th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

Four US senators pressed Scottish First Minsiter Alex Salmond on Tuesday to release the Lockerbie bomber's full medical records as well as a list of doctors who examined him before his release.

"We are writing today to ask for the release of all medical documentation for Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi while under Scottish care and after," the lawmakers said in a letter to Salmond that they released to reporters.

Senators Robert Menendez, Kirsten Gillibrand, Chuck Schumer and Frank Lautenberg -- all Democrats -- have spearheaded US criticism of the decision to free the cancer-stricken Megrahi in August 2009.

Megrahi was the only man convicted in the 1988 terrorist attack over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, in which 270 people died, including 189 Americans.

After doctors said he had only three months to live, he was released on compassionate grounds from a Scottish prison and allowed to return to Libya.

But he remains alive, prompting US critics to question whether oil giant BP had lobbied on Megrahi's behalf in order to safeguard a 900-million-dollar contract with Libya -- something the firm and British officials deny.

The senators complained that "only one three-page medical document with redactions has been released by the Scottish government" and said they hoped for an "independent examination" of his full records.

"If permission from Mr. Megrahi is required for the Scottish government to release personal medical documents, we respectfully ask that the Scottish government request his permission to release these records and the monthly updates on his condition that he provides Scottish authorities," they wrote.

"In addition, we request that the Scottish government release the full names, medical training and specialization of all of the doctors who examined Mr. Megrahi, as well as the details about each doctor's role in the final medical assessment," the lawmakers said.

The senators pointed to a recent news report that "there was no consensus among specialists treating Megrahi's prostate cancer that he had only three months to live," calling that lack of agreement "very troubling."

© 2010 AFP

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