Posted at 01:21 PM ET, 12/22/2011

Lockerbie bomber claims innocence a day after 23rd anniversary

London — The only person to be convicted in the Lockerbie bombing claimed in his “final” interview that he is an innocent man and never met a shopkeeper whose identification was pivotal in his conviction.
A relative of Pan Am Flight 103 victims places flowers on the Lockerbie Memorial Cairn at Arlington National Cemetery. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Speaking from Tripoli, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi insisted that he did not smuggle a bomb on board Pan Am Flight 103 that exploded over a Scottish town in 1988 killing 270 people, mostly Americans.

Megrahi was the only person convicted in connection to the bombing, but was controversially released from prison in 2009 on compassionate grounds after Scottish authorities estimated he had about three months to live.

His interview ran in several British papers Thursday, a day after the annual Lockerbie memorial in Virginia, and included a picture of a gaunt-looking Megrahi lying on a bed under a sea of blankets.

Megrahi proclaimed his innocence, telling George Thomson, a Scottish private investigator and documentary filmmaker, that he had never met Tony Gauci, the Maltese shopkeeper who identified Megrahi in the trial.

Clothes from Gauci’s shop were found packed into a suitcase with the bomb.

Megrahi also said: “I will not be giving any more interviews,” and that “I am about to die and I’d ask now to be left in peace to die with my family.”

In a blog, Thomson said Megrahi, who he met twice recently in Tripoli, “went further” and that new evidence will be revealed in his upcoming film.

By Karla Adams  |  01:21 PM ET, 12/22/2011

Tags:  World, Lockerbie, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi

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