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In the last while I have done a couple of postings on the possible role of the Scottish Legal Establishment in the release of Adelbaset Al-Megrahi, the Libyan national who was granted compassionate release from prison in Scotland due, we were told, to his certain and imminent death within weeks to prostate cancer.  Here and here.  Last week saw the anniversary of this release and further calls for an inquiry into the case for that release.

In America the suspicion is centred on a belief that the deal was wrung from the Scottish devolved administration by the British Government, who wished to assist a deal that BP had with the Libyan government for drilling rights. 

I have always had my doubts on this for a number of reasons, which I have explored at the links above.

Mainly, I believe that the investigation of the original crime, the downing of the Pan Am flight, the examination of the evidence and the conduct of the trial itself were flawed.  I am not alone.  The Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission has found six grounds for appeal.  Indeed an appeal was already before the courts at the time that the Scottish Justice Minister visited Al-Megrahi in jail.  Such a visit alone was most unusual and drew attention immediately.  The almost instantaneous dropping of an appeal thereafter, followed by the release of the single most notorious criminal in Scottish Legal history had everyone astonished.

My view, for what it’s worth, is that Kenny MacAskill chose to release Al-Megrahi rather than trail his own profession through the mire to it’s international condemnation and ultimate humiliation.  What was done was done to protect the Legal Profession.

Some feel that Kenny MacAskill would never have stooped that low, that he had never shown that he would support his profession right or wrong against such actions.  Perhaps, but the film below may change your perception.  It is taken within the debating chamber of the Scottish Parliament, on 16th April 2008, the year before.


Copyright David Macadam 2010