Fury as doctor who said Lockerbie bomber would die in three months admits: He could live for a decade
By Jack Doyle
Last updated at 3:13 PM on 5th July 2010
The cancer expert who predicted the Lockerbie bomber would die within three months of his release from prison has admitted he could live for another ten years or more. Professor Karol Sikora, who had diagnosed Abdelbaset Al Megrahi with terminal cancer, faced calls to apologise to victims' families last night.
Campaigners reacted with fury to the professor's comments, which they said raised new questions about the decision to allow Megrahi to return to his native Libya.
Tory MP Ben Wallace, a former member of the Scottish Affairs Committee, said: 'The doctor that carried out this diagnosis owes his regret to the families of the victims.
'He should apologise to the victims for contributing to the release of a mass murderer, who is clearly alive and well in Libya.
Cancer specialist Prof Sikora admitted it was 'embarrassing' that Megrahi has lived much longer than expected
'Throughout this whole sorry affair the victim has been put last behind trade deals, Scotish Nationalist posturing and dubious medical diagnosis.' Megrahi's release from his Scottish prison cell last August - on the orders of Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill - was mired in controversy.
Some relatives of victims of the 1988 bombing claimed Megrahi was never as sick as he claimed to be, and criticised the release on so- called 'compassionate grounds' as an unforgiveable mistake.
The Scottish government claimed there was a 'firm consensus' among medical experts that he would die within 12 weeks.
But there was widespread speculation the move was in fact part of an Anglo-Libyan trade deal - and unrelated to his terminal prostate cancer - after it emerged UK Government ministers had pushed for his release.
Cancer specialist Professor Sikora, who assessed the 58-year-old, admitted in comments published yesterday that it was 'embarrassing' that Megrahi has lived much longer than expected.
He told the Sunday Times: 'There was always a chance he could live for ten years, 20 years . . . But it's very unusual.'