Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only person convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing above Scotland in which 270 people were killed, has been buried in a private ceremony in a western suburb of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
According to the BBC, Megrahi's body was transferred discreetly in an ambulance to the burial site, followed by a convoy of male relatives close behind. The funeral was a private affair, and took place in the suburb of Janzour, where other members of his family lay buried.
As the body was lowered into the grave, one distraught relative shouted: "He is innocent, he is innocent," according to the Agence France Presse, while his brother said “his pain is over now – he is with God," and insisted that Megrahi brother paid the price for a crime he did not commit.
Megrahi, who suffered from advanced terminal prostate cancer and was briefly hospitalized last month for blood transfusions, died at the age of 60 on Sunday.
He was convicted by a special court in the Netherlands in 2001 of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103 as it flew from London to New York. All 259 people on board were killed and 11 others in the Scottish town of Lockerbie died from falling wreckage.
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A Libyan intelligence officer and former security chief for Libyan Arab Airlines, he always denied any responsibility for the attack, and in 2009 – eight years into a 27-year prison sentence – was released from a Scottish jail on compassionate grounds after doctors told him he had only months to live, the Associated Press reports.
Shortly before being freed, he dropped his second appeal against his conviction, and received a hero’s welcome when he returned to Col Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya.
Megrahi’s release angered many relatives of the Lockerbie bombing victims, 189 of whom were American, Reuters reports. A number of US politicians had pressed for his extradition to the US, but Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council refused, according to CNN.
However, other relatives believe he was not guilty of the attack and was simply a scapegoat.
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