UK lawyer denies Lockerbie bomber is dead

British news channel reports Megrahi has died


A Scottish lawyer for the Lockerbie bomber rubbished reports that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi had died after a British news channel reported he had passed away, two months after he was controversially freed from a Scottish jail.

"It's not true... he's alive and I know that for a fact," the AFP news agency quoted Scottish lawyer Tony Kelly as saying.

Kelly did not give details but said he had spoken to Megrahi, who is suffering from prostate cancer, today and he was fine.

Britain's Sky News television, quoting unidentified sources, said there were reports that Megrahi had died but stressed the reports were still not confirmed by Libyan officials.

Megrahi was freed from a Scottish prison two months ago, on the grounds that he was terminally ill.

A short time earlier, spokesmen for British and Scottish authorities said they were investigating the reports. "We're trying to confirm reports that Megrahi has died," said a spokeswoman for the Scottish government.

Megrahi was convicted in January 2001 at an extraordinary Scottish court convened in the Netherlands.

He mounted an unsuccessful appeal in 2002 and in 2007 his case was sent for a second appeal -- which his lawyers dropped shortly before his release on compassionate grounds in August.

It's not true... he's alive and I know that for a fact

Lockerbie lawyer