Colonel Gaddafi last night revealed the family of the Lockerbie bomber is preparing a multi-million pound compensation claim against Britain for false imprisonment and medical neglect.
The Libyan dictator said the case against 58-year-old Abdelbaset al-Megrahi had ‘been fabricated and created by’ Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.
His threat of legal action will outrage families of Lockerbie victims, already furious the former secret serviceman remains alive and living in Tripoli more than a year after he was released from jail in Scotland on the grounds that he had only a few months to live.
Gaddafi insisted that CIA agents – not Libya – had been behind the 1988 terrorist atrocity, which killed 270, a wild theory already advanced in a controversial documentary and a number of books.
‘These are the people who created this conspiracy,’ said Gaddafi, referring to the alleged role of former prime minister Baroness Thatcher and ex-U.S. President Mr Reagan in the life sentence al-Megrahi received for blowing up the Pan Am plane.
‘The charges directed towards Libya were based on unfounded evidence in an attempt to weaken the Libyan Revolution and limit its resources and abilities,’ he added.
Colonel Gaddafi, who was speaking to students at the London School of Economics (LSE) via a video-link, confirmed al-Megrahi remained ‘very ill’ with cancer.
‘He was released because he was considered dead, and yet he was still alive,’ said Gaddafi.
‘His health was not looked after in prison. He didn’t have any periodic examination.
‘After he passes away his family will demand compensation because he was deliberately neglected in prison.’
Libyan diplomatic officials who attended the LSE talk said that, based on similar cases, the compensation could run into many millions of pounds.
Last night’s speech was said to have been ‘facilitated’ by Saif al-Gaddafi, the Libyan leader’s second son and likely heir, who has employed a PR company to present the face of a modern reforming state.
Saif has a doctorate from the LSE and a home in London.
The Foreign Office said it was studying the dictator’s remarks before it issued a formal response.
But last night Tory MPs said the prospect of al-Megrahi’s family launching a claim would add insult to injury for the bereaved.One, Douglas Carswell, said: ‘Legal action of this kind would be grotesquely offensive to those who lost loved ones.