Suspect in Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people will not face death penalty

Masud has not entered a plea and is seeking legal counsel after rejecting a public defender.

The Libyan man now in U.S. custody and charged in connection with making the airplane bomb that killed 270 people over Lockerbie, Scotland, roughly 24 years ago will not face the death penalty, U.S. officials said.

Abu Agila Mohammad Masud, a 71-year-old former member of the Libyan intelligence service, was charged Monday in a D.C. federal court for his alleged part in making the bomb that exploded on Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988. 

However, prosecutors said they will not seek the death penalty for Masud and he faces the maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted, the BBC reported.

Masud did not enter a plea and interrupted the judge who was reading the charges.

"I can't talk until I've spoken to my attorney," he said.

Masud is seeking legal counsel after rejecting an offer from the public defender for free representation.

The flight was going from London to New York when the bomb went off about a half hour after take off, killing people from 21 countries, including 190 Americans and 11 people on the ground, making it the U.K.'s deadliest terrorist attack.