Yet again, for the umpteenth time, Kenny MacAskill the Scottish Justice Minister has to stand up and explain himself to the Scottish parliament over questions about the Lockerbie Bombers release.
Time and time and time again, the opposition has sought to muddy the waters and cast blame on Kenny MacAskill for releasing Megrahi under compassionate release.
The furore has still a long way to go I fear. Today will not hear the end over this sad matter.
One would think by the way that Kenny MacAskill has been hounded that he was the one who was the terrorist.
Labour and Tories and the BBC have hounded Kenny mercilessly for the past few years. Cameron went to America and claimed the Scottish Governments decision was criminal, and Megrahi should still be under lock and Key in Greenock prison.
The truth of the matter over Megrahis release has sought to keep quiet Blairs deal with Gadaffi in the desert, where Tony promised Megrahis release under a prisoner transfer agreement. Numerous trips by British officials were made, all for access to Libyan oil.
The Scottish Government completely refused Labours requests to be involved in such shady dealings.
Senior Tories acting on behalf of BP tried to influence the Scottish government by letter, and they were told to take a hike!
So, if anyone wanted Megrahi out of here, and had something to gain by his release, it was the Labour British governments of Blair and Brown, and Tories lobbying for BP. Scotland and the Scottish government have never had anything to gain.
Yet when Megrahi was released, once he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, all hell broke loose and Kenny MacAskill suddenly became an international pariah.
Obama,Clinton, a bunch of half witted American senators, who thought that they could demand MacAskill and Salmond appear in front of them, at their say so, Cameron, Labour in Scotland led by Ian Gray, all wanted to hang Kenny MacAskill out to dry.
All MacAskill and the Scottish Government had done, was follow Scottish Legal procedures implicitly.
This was not good enough from a Scottish Government perspective either, so they released all correspondence they had, which they were at liberty to release. They pleaded with both the American and British Government to release all documents, but they were denied permission. The Americans and British governments said that these documents were too sensitive to release.
The question being, why wont they allow for their disclosure?
Further more, the Scottish Government has not been allowed to release the Scottish criminal cases reviews commission findings either. They are now endeavoring to find an avenue they can force this to happen.
Meanwhile, Megrahi still holds onto life in Libya, but his biographer released a book which gave more evidence and insight into the appeal which Megrah had felt compelled to drop.
The book begins with the biographers assertion that MacAskill had put pressure on Megrahi via a Libyan diplomat to drop his appeal, with the implication that he might not be released if he continued with it. Megrahi on hearing this from the Libyan diplomat, was frightened into dropping his appeal.
When this assertion was put to MacAskill, he completely denied such pressure had ever been applied by him or the Scottish Government on Megrahi. He also pointed out that this was completely third hand hearsay by the biographer. Certainly Megrahi himself has never asserted that MacAskill had suggested any such thing to him.
However, this assertion has had the Labour and Tory politicians howling for answers once more from Kenny MacAskill today.
In listening to the aforesaid announcement, Kenny MAcAskill once more pointed out that all his dealings with Megrahi were above board and correct, and he had dealt perfectly honourably and professionally with the case all along. At no point did he put pressure on Megrahi to drop his appeal,nor insinuate that his release under compassionate grounds were dependent upon withrawel of his appeal.
He accused both Labour and the Conservatives of being hypocritical, pointing out Labour dealings at Westminster, and reading out letters from Tory Mps and Peers requesting Megrahi’s release under prisoner transfer agreement for business reasons. In all cases he refused categorically to comply with either Labour or Tory.
He went on to point out that all documentation which was in his power to make public, had been made public.
Again, he was questioned by both labour and Tories about Megrahi’s continued survival, and Labour in particular requested he release Megrahi’s medical history.
They know as well as he, that no persons medical history can be released without the individuals permission, so this is a nonsense request.
MacAskill pointed out that a bill he was pushing through parliament should enable the Scottish Criminal Review Commission to be able to release its report, but it would have to be their decision. He pointed out that he wished to see their report on Megrahi released.
MacAskill also wished for the Uk government to hold a complete inquiry and investigation on this case, but it is not within his or the Scottish Governments remit or competence under devolved powers to do so.
He again asked all parties to support his endeavours in persuading the UK government to pursue this review. However, none of the opposition parties in the Scottish parliament have been at all keen to pursue this line. I think for very obvious reasons.
The parties of the hypocrites, all question why Megrahi is still alive, after being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and given three months to live, yet is still alive.
One only needs to look at the documentary films to see his condition, but if that too is doubted?
My brother in Law was given 6 months to live twenty years with stomach cancer.
He is still alive today!
Giving exact time predictions for terminal cancer is not an exact science, and Megrahi would certainly have received better treatment at home with new drugs which we don’t have access to yet, and would not have been available for prisoners here. It is not unbelievable that he has survived longer than anticipate. But,looking at him, he has not long to go, and he is not living a great life.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, we had two documentaries come out at the the same time as the books release. The original 47minute documentary done by Aljazeera , and a thirty minute edited copy of it, done by the BBC.
The original programme was heavily redacted by BBC Scotland,with its own slant casting some doubt over Megrahi and Libya in the process.
The BBC also omit key statements from the original programme which clearly state that MacAskill as Justice Secretary had not had any time or right to see the SCRC’s judgement in sending the case back for appeal. Instead the BBC cut the section where MacAskill speaks. They also considerably edit and entirely remove sections which involve Christine Graham of the SNP and lead supporter of the Justice for Megrahi campaign.
It is beyond doubt in my mind having seen and heard much of the evidence in these documentaries that the whole process of Megrahis trial is flawed, and possibly much of it fraudulent.
With all this information at hand, the questions now must firmly ask, what have the American and British governments got to hide?
The conviction can not be seen as at all safe,and the perpetrators of Lockerbie are still at large. This is entirely unacceptable.
It is time for all parties, including Labour and the Tories to come clean! Trying to muddy the waters and make Kenny MacAskill into a scapegoat has failed, and they have to own up to their dealings.
I doubt they will, and we may never know the real answers, unless of course we get Independence and Scotland can hold its own enquiry.
BBC Lockerbie programme
Aljazeera New evidence …this is hte programme the BBC redacted.