News reports suggest that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, currently serving 27 years in Greenock Prison for the bombing that killed 270 people, will be allowed to return to Libya under a transfer agreement to be ratified by the Government before the end of this month.
As for the scandal of how the Scots justice system was used as a political football to convict al Megrahi on the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 using evidence which seems inconsistent with the facts, while judges, politicians, and many senior players in the Scots legal establishment played along with the verdict .. answers will probably never be forthcoming for many lifetimes to come. (Corrupt, to the end, no matter who is in power ! – Ed)
The Herald reports :
LUCY ADAMS, Chief Reporter April 18 2009
Senior legal officials, in a tacit acknowledgement that the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing is likely to be allowed to return home, have written to all relatives of the victims explaining the transfer process.
After years of denial by ministers and officials, the Crown Office e-mail suggests that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, currently serving 27 years in Greenock Prison for the bombing that killed 270 people, will be allowed to return to Libya under a transfer agreement to be ratified before the end of this month.
The e-mail also suggests that ratification may take place on April 27, the day before Megrahi's long-awaited appeal begins in Edinburgh.
Earlier this year, The Herald revealed that Libyan officials had been encouraged by senior civil servants from both sides of the border, including Robert Gordon, the head of the Justice Department in Scotland, to apply for Megrahi to be transferred as soon as the agreement is ratified.
Megrahi, whose case was referred back for a fresh appeal in June 2007 because it "may be a miscarriage of justice", is suffering from terminal prostate cancer and relatives and campaigners are concerned that he will not survive the appeal, which is expected to last at least 12 months - partly because the court will only be sitting for four days a week on alternate months. His request for interim bail was last year turned down by three appeal court judges.
Yesterday's revelation coincided with the publication of a critical report on the transfer agreement by the Joint Committee on Human Rights at Westminster.
The report makes apparent the committee's disdain of Jack Straw, the UK Justice Secretary, for failing to delay ratification to allow for proper scrutiny.
Mr Straw wrote to the committee in March to say he would delay ratification only until the Easter recess because "a delay beyond early April is likely to lead to serious questions on the part of Libya in regards to our willingness to conclude this and three other judicial co-operation agreements".