20 Aug 2011

Scottish govt defends release of Lockerbie bomber

8:10 pm on 20 August 2011

The Scottish government insists its decision to free the Lockerbie bomber exactly two years ago has been vindicated and that it stands by his release.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi is the only man convicted over the December 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people, when it exploded over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

Megrahi, who has terminal cancer, was said to be only three months from death when he was freed from a Scottish jail on compassionate grounds on 20 August 2009.

The fact that he has survived so long has provoked indignation in Britain and the United States.

But a spokesperson for Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond defended his release, saying senior figures in the Scottish, British and US administrations all agreed that the decision was taken in good faith.