MacAskill calls for full investigation into the Lockerbie bombing

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Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill has reiterated his support for a full investigation into the Lockerbie bombing and has suggested that a wider UK inquiry or UN investigation is required.

Mr MacAskill was responding to calls from four US senators for an inquiry into the release on compassionate grounds of Al Megrahi.


Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill has reiterated his support for a full investigation into the Lockerbie bombing and has suggested that a wider UK inquiry or UN investigation is required.

Mr MacAskill was responding to calls from four US senators for an inquiry into the release on compassionate grounds of Al Megrahi.

The SNP Minister has called for a full and properly constituted inquiry into the events surrounding the Lockerbie bombing.

Mr MacAskill said: “We would always look to assist any properly constituted inquiry – and indeed we very much support a wider UK public inquiry or United Nations investigation capable of examining all of the issues related to the Lockerbie atrocity, which go well beyond Scotland’s jurisdiction – and that remains the case.”

The Justice Minister defended his decision to release Mr Megrahi, saying he had made “the right decision for the right reasons”.

Mr MacAskill also drew attention to the fact that the Scottish Government had vehemently opposed a deal between the UK and Libyan Governments to include Megrahi in a Prisoner Transfer Agreement (PTA).

Mr MacAskill said: “The Scottish Government has always totally opposed the Prisoner Transfer Agreement negotiated between the UK and Libyan Governments. The memorandum that led to the PTA was agreed without our knowledge and against our wishes.

“That’s why we chose to reveal the secret talks between the then Labour Government and the Libyans, as soon as we learned of the ‘deal in the desert’ between Tony Blair and Colonel Gaddafi,” he added. “The issues being raised in the United States at present regarding BP refer to the Prisoner Transfer Agreement negotiated by the Governments of the UK and Libya, and therefore have nothing to do with the decision on compassionate release which was a totally different process, based on entirely different criteria.”

In 2008 Labour’s former Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, controversially signed a public interest immunity certificate that prevented disclosure to al-Megrahi’s defence of potentially crucial evidence, ignoring and over-ruling the wishes of the Scottish Lord Advocate.

The reason, it was claimed, was that the UK Government had tried, but failed, to obtain the consent of a “foreign power” that had supplied the document(s).

There have been calls for the new UK coalition government to remove the order.

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