Scotland’s Justice Minister, Kenny MacAskill, has again been defending his decision to free the Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds.
The Scottish parliamentary session follows the release yesterday of official documents showing Britain did not want to offend Libya by excluding Abdel Basset al-Megrahi from a prisoner transfer deal. In a letter to his Scottish counterpart, the UK Home Secretary Jack Straw says Tripoli had become “an important partner in the fight against terrorism.” Other correspondence shows Britain did not want al-Megrahi to die in prison, but London has repeated its insistence that the matter was solely the decision of Scottish ministers. Al-Megrahi, the only person to be convicted of the bombing, is only expected to live for three months more as he has terminal cancer. Britain and the United States have both condemned the rapturous welcome give to al-Megrahi on his return to Libya, but that did not stop the film being used by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi last night to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the revolution which saw him become Libya’s leader.