Doc: I Goofed on Lockerbie Bomber Diagnosis

I couldn't say for sure when he would die, says expert
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Aug 16, 2010 1:44 AM CDT
Updated Aug 16, 2010 5:33 AM CDT
Police and investigators look at what remains of the nose of Pan Am 103 in a field in Lockerbie, Scotland, after the 1988 bombing.   (AP Photo/Martin Cleaver, File)
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(Newser) – A medical expert cited in the compassionate release of the Lockerbie bomber said he would have been "more vague" had he realized his opinion about bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi's prostate cancer would be treated as fact. Megrahi, convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that killed 270 people, was released to Libya by Scottish authorities, who said doctors determined he had just three months to live. That was more than a year ago. Karol Sikora was one of two specialists paid by Libya to diagnose Megrahi.

"It's not like in films when the oncologist says, 'I'm sorry you have three months to live.' There's a huge spectrum for every clinical situation," Sikora told the Guardian. "If I could go back in time I would have probably been more vague and tried to emphasize the statistical chances. What I find difficult is the idea I took the key and let him out," he added. "No one asked, 'Should we let him out?' All they said was, 'When do you think he will die?'" Sikora's comments will likely revive anger about the release of Megrahi, who was given a hero's welcome when he returned to Libya.

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