Scotland’s justice secretary has defended his decision to free the convicted Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds.Kenny MacAskill condemned the jubilant scenes, which included the waving of Scottish flags, that greeted Abdelbaset al Megrahi on his return to Libya. However, at an emergency session of the Scottish parliament on Monday the minister rejected suggestions he had bowed to outside political or economic pressure. US victims families have strongly criticised the release of Megrahi who is dying from cancer, with some setting up a website urging Americans to boycott Scotland. ‘‘I don’t think trade embargoes but I think its well worth us letting everybody know that we’re upset with the decision,’‘ one American man visiting Scotland said. The Libyan remains the only person convicted of the bombing of the Pan Am jet which blew up over Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 people. The UK has denied wanting Megrahi freed so it can forge closer links with Tripoli.
Scottish Justice Secretary stands by decision