9 Oct 2012
The Scottish Government must detail who else it asked to welcome the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Scottish Conservatives have said.
On Monday it emerged that Alex Salmond’s office had approached billionaire Donald Trump in the hope of persuading him to back the highly controversial move in August 2009.
He refused, and relations between the First Minister and the US tycoon subsequently soured.
Now the Scottish Conservatives are calling on the SNP to state exactly which others were asked to hail the move, which was made on compassionate grounds because he had an estimated three months to live.
In-fact, Megrahi went on to survive for more than 1000 days, making a mockery of the Scottish Government’s decision to release the culprit of the atrocity.
The Scottish Government has already cited some people known to support the move, but the Scottish Conservatives want the First Minister to publish a full list of those his advisers approached to make a statement in relation to the release.
Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw MSP said:
“People will have been shocked by the behaviour of the SNP in trying to seek celebrity approval for such an appalling decision.
“It’s embarrassing enough for Scotland that Megrahi went on to live so much longer than the experts said he would.
“This is why we need to know exactly who Alex Salmond approached in this way, and what their reaction was to such an advance.
“The public has a right to know all the circumstances leading up to and following on from such a sensitive decision, which was an insult to the memories of those who lost their lives and their families.
“We know Trump was approached, and we know other global figures leant their voice to support the decision.
“What we now need to know is, were they proactively approached by the SNP, and who else was asked but chose not to get involved?”
It emerged in Monday’s Press and Journal that Alex Salmond asked Donald Trump to welcome Megrahi’s release:
Nelson Mandela backed the release of the Lockerbie bomber: