The Scottish Government has denied receiving any communication from US Senator Frank Lautenberg relating to the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.
It was widely reported on Saturday that Senator Lautenberg had written to the First Minister Alex Salmond expressing his frustration following the decision not to send Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and a medical expert to Washington to attend the hearings into the Lockerbie bomber’s release and “pleading” him to reconsider.
However, a spokesperson for the Scottish Government issued a statement on Saturday evening stating: “We have so far received no letter from Senator Lautenberg. However, we share the Senator’s concern for all those affected by the Lockerbie atrocity, including the victims’ relatives in the Unites States and around the world, among them those here in Scotland in the town of Lockerbie itself.
“We have though received another letter from Senator Menendez, who will chair next week’s hearing, and who has now asked for us to provide five categories of documents relating to the case.
“We are more than happy to do so, and indeed have already published all we hold on this issue, with the exception of some documents where permission for publication has so far been declined.
“We have already repeatedly made it clear that the Scottish Government had no contact, formal or informal at any time, from BP in relation to the Megrahi issue.
“And as we have already made clear to Senator Kerry, we believe offering information to the committee in the way we have done is the most appropriate way of helping the committee with its hearing, and we have respectfully declined the invitation for the Justice Secretary and the Scottish Prison Service’s director of health and care to attend in person.”
Al-Megrahi is the only man to have been convicted of bombing of Pan Am flight 103 on December 21, 1988, which killed 270 people.
He was released from Greenock Prison last August, having been given just three months to live. However, 11 months on, he is still alive and living with his family in Tripoli, and the Scottish Government is coming under increasing pressure from critics who say he should never have been freed.
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