Friday, August 20, 2010

UK Guardian-Scottish First Minister Defends Release of Accused Bomber

Accused Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi: Reuters
(Story reported by Severin Carrell for the UK Guardian)

Alex Salmond today insisted his government had released Abdelbaset al-Megrahi "in good faith" after receiving expert advice that the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing had three months to live.

The Scottish first minister said that advice came to ministers from Dr Andrew Fraser, the head of medical services with the Scottish prison service, whom he described as a "physician of great experience" and personal integrity.

As condemnation intensified on the first anniversary of Megrahi's release, Salmond said: "Obviously people are going to have a range of views about the rights and wrongs of the decision ... all we ask people to do is to accept it was a decision that was made in good faith following the due procedures that we have under the legislation and under the tenets of Scots law."

Opposition leaders and relatives of American victims have increased their criticism of the decision by the Scottish justice minister, Kenny MacAskill, to release Megrahi, who is still alive and living in Tripoli a year after he was freed having served only eight years of his 27-year sentence.

Iain Gray, the Scottish Labour leader, today said MacAskill had been "incompetent" in failing to get clear and unequivocal medical evidence that Megrahi's death was imminent.

(Click here to read the full story on the UK Guardian website)

No comments: