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Lockerbie Bomber Al-Megrahi Out of Contact With Scots Monitors

Aug. 24 (Bloomberg) -- The Scottish municipality charged with monitoring freed Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset Al-Megrahi hasn’t been able to contact him since Libyan rebels entered Tripoli three days ago.

East Renfrewshire Council has to ensure Al-Megrahi, who has prostate cancer, doesn’t break conditions imposed by Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill when he freed him on compassionate grounds in August 2009. Officials spoke to Al-Megrahi within the past two weeks, George Barbour, a spokesman for the municipality, said by telephone today.

“We are looking to get in touch with him earlier than we would be expecting to,” Barbour said. “We need to be realistic and take into account the conditions on the ground. We are not at the moment concerned about the lack of contact.”

The battle for control of Tripoli, as rebels fight forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi, has disrupted telephone and video links, the municipality’s means of contacting Al-Megrahi. The 59-year-old was released two years ago on the grounds that he was likely to die within months.

U.K. Foreign Secretary William Hague said yesterday that the Scottish government should consider extraditing Al-Megrahi back from Libya. MacAskill’s office didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001 of the killing of 270 people in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. He was released after dropping his appeal against his conviction.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Woodifield in Edinburgh at pwoodifield@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rodney Jefferson at r.jefferson@bloomberg.net

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