Page last updated at 22:56 GMT, Saturday, 12 September 2009 23:56 UK

Megrahi's 'health deteriorating'

Adbelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, 9 September, 2009
Megrahi appeared in a mask at a hospital gathering days ago

The health of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi has worsened, his brother has told Reuters.

Megrahi, who has terminal cancer, was unable to talk due to a "sudden deterioriation" in his health, he said.

But a BBC correspondent says there appears to be a concerted effort being made to dramatise his condition.

Megrahi was freed on compassionate grounds from a Scottish jail in August, having been jailed for the 1988 attack which claimed 270 lives.

Weak patient

His doctors confirmed the brother's statement but gave no further details, Reuters reported.

The wreckage of the flight at Lockerbie

On Wednesday, it was reported that Megrahi looked "very weak, unable really to engage in what was going on around him, and coughing quite violently at times."

He appeared on stage at the hospital in a wheelchair, wearing a mask, and attached to an intravenous drip.

But the BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli says it seemed a carefully orchestrated event intended to send a signal to the Scottish, British and US governments.

The release of Megrahi, the only person convicted of the bombing, has outraged many, especially the relatives of those who died.

US President Barack Obama expressed his "disappointment" about the release directly to UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

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