The Libyan convicted of killing 270 people in the Lockerbie bombing is expected to be freed from jail on compassionate grounds tomorrow because he is now thought to be close to death, with prostate cancer that is aggressive and advanced.
Kenny Macaskill, the justice secretary for Scotland, will defy intense pressure from Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, to keep Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in jail. Tonight the Scottish government confirmed that an announcement would be made in Edinburgh at 1pm tomorrow, coinciding with news bulletins on the eastern seaboard of the US, home to many of the disaster victims.
Relatives of the 270 victims on both sides of the Atlantic were told by officials this evening that the announcement would be made to avoid American relatives waking up to discover Megrahi had been freed.
Scottish officials again attempted to rebut allegations of a secret political deal tonight, supposedly to promote lucrative western oil interests in Libya and the rehabilitation on the world stage of the country's leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
A government spokesman said: "We've a strong justice system in Scotland, and people can be assured that the justice secretary's decisions have been reached on the basis of clear evidence and on no other factors."
“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
"We've a strong justice system in Scotland, and people can be assured that the justice secretary's decisions have been reached on the basis of clear evidence and on no other factors."