Megrahi, seen in the white, boarded a flight at Glasgow
The Lockerbie bomber has left Scotland on board a plane bound for Libya after being freed from prison on compassionate grounds.
Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, 57, was jailed in 2001 for the atrocity which claimed 270 lives in 1988.
The decision to release Megrahi, who has terminal prostate cancer, was made by the Scottish Government.
The White House said it “deeply regretted” the decision and some of the US victims’ families reacted angrily.
A police convoy left Greenock Prison, where Megrahi was serving his sentence, more than an hour after the announcement of his release was made.
He was taken to Glasgow Airport to board the flight to Tripoli, which took off shortly before 1530 BST.
The government said it had consulted widely before Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill made his decision on applications for Megrahi’s compassionate release or his transfer to a Libyan jail.
He told a media conference on Thursday that he had rejected the application for a prisoner transfer.
However, after taking medical advice it was expected that three months was a “reasonable estimate” of the time Megrahi had left to live.
He ruled out the option of the Libyan being allowed to live in Scotland on security grounds.
And he stressed that he accepted the conviction and sentence which had been handed to Megrahi.
However, Mr Macaskill said Scots defined themselves by their humanity.
“Mr al-Megrahi did not show his victims any comfort or compassion. They were not allowed to return to the bosom of their families to see out their lives, let alone their dying days. No compassion was shown by him to them.
“But that alone is not a reason for us to deny compassion to him and his family in his final days.”
Mr MacAskill continued: “Our justice system demands that judgement be imposed, but compassion be available.
“For these reasons and these reasons alone, it is my decision that Mr Mr Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi, convicted in 2001 for the Lockerbie bombing, now terminally ill with prostate cancer, be released on compassionate grounds and be allowed to return to Libya to die.”
Mr MacAskill had been under intense pressure from the US government to keep Megrahi behind bars, with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton saying his release would be “absolutely wrong”.