(TRIPOLI, Libya) — The only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing was buried Monday in Tripoli. Just under a hundred family members and friends attended the funeral of Abdelbaset al Megrahi, who was buried at Zarwani cemetery, Tripoli’s main burial grounds on the outskirts of the Libyan capital.
Many thought al Megrahi, 60, wouldn’t last this long. Terminally ill with cancer, he was released on “compassionate grounds” in Scotland 2 1/2 years ago. Al Megrahi was the only person convicted in 2001 for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, in which 270 (189 American) people were killed over Lockerbie, Scotland. He served his sentence in Scotland until his release.
Until he died Sunday, Al Megrahi — an ex-intelligence official — always claimed innocence and said he had nothing to do with the deadly terror attack. British and American investigators had recently pushed to continue probing the case in Libya, but officials in that country insisted any new exploration would have to be carried out under Libyan control, according to The New York Times.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, however, set aside any calls for a new inquiry into al Megrahi’s conviction in the wake of his death and reiterated his belief that al Megrahi was indeed guilty.
“This has been thoroughly gone through,” Cameron said, according to the Edinburgh Evening News. “There was a proper process, a proper court proceeding. We have to give people the chance to mourn those that were lost.”
Cameron added, according to a New York Times report, that al Megrahi should never have been released by the Scottish government and repeated what he said during a U.S. visit two years ago — that the Lockerbie bombing was “an appalling act of terror.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN