Thursday, 20 July 2017

“Libya has always viewed him as a political hostage”

[What follows is excerpted from a report published on the website of The Guardian on this date in 2010:]

Libya's relations with Britain have been flourishing across the board since the controversy over the release of the Lockerbie bomber, one of Muammar Gaddafi's senior ministers said today.

Libya was "delighted" at Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's return home from a Scottish prison last August and still insists he is innocent of the murder of 270 people on Pan Am 103, said Abdel-Fatah Yunis al-Obeidi, the Libyan secretary general for public security.

Obeidi, whose rank is that of a cabinet minister, hinted that David Cameron's comment that Megrahi's release had been a "mistake" — fuelling the domestic and international row about the circumstances of the decision — was made under US pressure. In an exclusive interview on a visit to London, Obeidi said he was certain the former intelligence agent was innocent.

"Libya is delighted by his return and has always viewed him as a political hostage and never acknowledged him as a prisoner," he said. "Libya had no connection with the Lockerbie affair. The international community was led to believe that Libya was behind the incident but history will prove the truth. I am convinced that Megrahi was innocent and was a victim of a huge international conspiracy."

Libya agreed to pay billions of dollars in compensation to families of the victims because of demands from the UN, not because it admitted guilt over the worst act of terrorism in British history. It portrays Megrahi's release as a purely humanitarian issue involving a man suffering from terminal prostate cancer who supposedly had just weeks left to live.

"Megrahi is in the hands of God," said Obeidi. "He was in a Scottish prison. Those who made the three-month prognosis were British doctors. The fact that he is still alive is divine will and has nothing to do with Libya. If you have a direct line to Heaven you can check up there."

Renewed US interest in the affair is linked to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and anger among families of the 189 US victims of the Pan Am bombing.

"The British government should disregard the views of others," Obeidi said. "We and you know who those others are. They are those who do not want Britain to look after its own economic interests and wants it to be subjugated to them for ever."

Obeidi's busy UK schedule underlines the warmth and intensity of bilateral relations since Tony Blair met Gaddafi in 2004. (...)

"Relations are excellent and getting better every day," he said. "The problem before was the absence of trust. Now we have restored confidence and there is much greater cooperation."

Libyan officials do not normally relish discussing Lockerbie, wishing to draw a line under it after the payment of compensation, the restoration of diplomatic relations with the US and UK and a wider sense that the country has shed its pariah status as western companies, backed by their governments, queue up to do business. But Libya lobbied hard for Megrahi's release — finding a willing partner in the Labour government — and the only man convicted of the 1988 atrocity was escorted home personally by Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi, the leader's son and presumed heir. During a recent lecture in London the younger Gaddafi responded monosyllabically to a question about Megrahi, focusing instead on the "new" Libya and opportunities it presented.

Libya does not expect any adverse effect on its booming relations with the UK. "The Libyans won't really care," predicted Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Tripoli. "It's yesterday's problem. The worry now is Megrahi's state of health. There's no question of him being sent back to Scotland or of Libya having to pay any price. They will see it as Cameron being in the pocket of the Americans."

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Scottish Government would support UK or UN inquiry

What follows is an item originally posted on this blog on this date in 2010.

Salmond: Ask Blair about Megrahi


Alex Salmond told US senators they should direct questions about a prisoner transfer agreement for the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing at former prime minister Tony Blair.

The First Minister has also accused a Tory MP of calling for Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi to be used as a foreign policy bargaining chip. His comments followed a weekend of renewed questions in the US and London about the decision to return Megrahi to Libya. Salmond said a Senate hearing should call the former prime minister to give evidence about the “deal in the desert” which paved the way for BP to invest £450 million in exploring Libya’s oil reserves.

Almost a year after Megrahi, who is suffering from prostate cancer, was freed on compassionate grounds by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, a group of Democratic senators is demanding an inquiry into claims the oil giant lobbied for his release to smooth a deal. An influential Senate committee is also to examine the case.

A spokesman for Salmond said: “If the US Senate wants to get the truth about the deal in the desert by the UK and Libyan governments in 2007, they should call Tony Blair to give evidence. Blair was its architect – he would be the one who knows about an oil deal.”

Salmond’s spokesman dismissed a call for a UK Government inquiry by Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski, chairman of Westminster’s all-party group on Libya. He has written to David Cameron asking how the Scottish Government can be held to account and asking for more information on UK Government involvement.

Salmond’s spokesman said: “As far as Daniel Kawczynski is concerned, he wrote to the Justice Secretary in August last year saying that al-Megrahi should be used as a foreign policy bargaining chip, which is as extraordinary as it is inappropriate in relation to determining applications for prisoner transfer or compassionate release.”

The issue threatens to overshadow David Cameron’s first visit to Washington as Prime Minister tomorrow.

In a letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “There is no evidence that corroborates in any way the allegations of BP involvement in the Scottish Executive’s decision to release Megrahi.”

But Hague also said that the release was “a mistake”.

MacAskill said he would “support a wider UK public inquiry or United Nations investigation capable of examining all of the issues related to the Lockerbie atrocity, which go well beyond Scotland’s jurisdiction”.

[From an article in today's edition of The Herald by Political Editor Brian Currie.]

[RB: The article no longer seems to feature on The Herald’s website.]

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Lockerbie accused flew to Malta day before Pan Am 103 destroyed

[What follows is excerpted from a report published on the BBC News website on this date in 2000:]

The Lockerbie trial has heard that the two Libyans suspected of planting the bomb flew to Malta the day before the airliner blew up.

The bomb is alleged to have been in a suitcase which was loaded onto a flight from Malta to Frankfurt, where Pan Am 103 began its journey to New York.

The Scottish Court in the Netherlands was told that the two men reached the Mediterranean island on 20 December, 1988.

They returned to Tripoli, Libya, on a Libyan Arab Airlines flight on the 21st, the day the bomb blasted a hole in the luggage compartment of the Boeing 747 after leaving London to cross the Atlantic.

Air Malta official Martin Baron confirmed the authenticity of the immigration cards registering the arrival and departure of defendant Lamen Khalifa Fhimah and a man by the name of Ahmed Khalifa Abdusamad.

The latter name is alleged to have been an alias used by co-defendant Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi.

According to the indictment, the men planted the bomb on Air Malta flight KM 180 to Frankfurt with tags routing it through London onto the Pan Am jet.

Prosecutors say the men worked for the Libyan state airline in Malta and were agents of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's intelligence apparatus.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Shrouded in a cloud of anomalies

[What follows is the text of an article by John Ashton published in the Sunday Herald on this date in 2011:]

New doubts over crucial evidence in Lockerbie trial


A prosecution expert misled judges at the Lockerbie trial about key evidence, according to a classified police memo obtained by the Sunday Herald.

Pan Am Flight 103 was blown up over the Scottish border town on December 21, 1988, killing 270 people.

The trial of the two Libyan men accused of the bombing began in May 2000, in front of a Scottish court set up in the Netherlands. During the trial, Dr Thomas Hayes, an expert witness for the prosecution, testified that a fragment allegedly from the bomb’s timer had not been tested for explosive residues.

However, according to the memo, tests were in fact carried out – and proved negative.

The revelation comes as the Scottish Parliament’s Justice Committee prepares to consider calls for a public inquiry into the conviction in 2001 of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

Campaigners believe he was wrongly convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, and accuse the police and Crown Office of concealing evidence that might have cleared him.

Forensic evidence suggested that the fragment, known as PT/35, was part of a timer supplied to Libyan intelligence by the Swiss company Mebo. Mebo’s offices were shared by a company co-owned by Megrahi.

According to the prosecution, the timer and the explosive were hidden in a Toshiba radio-cassette player which Megrahi packed into a suitcase along with clothing.

Hayes was employed by the Royal Armament Research and Development Establishment (RARDE), linked to the UK Ministry of Defence. Scientists from the RARDE were involved in examining material found at the Lockerbie crash scene.

Hayes told the trial in June 2000 that he did not test PT/35, or a fragment of Toshiba circuit board, for explosive residues because it was clear from their appearance that they were bomb-damaged.

He added that the chances of finding residues were “vanishingly small”, but acknowledged that residues had been found on pieces of aircraft debris, and that test results for other items were not disclosed.

A previously secret memo, dated April 3, 1990, describes a visit to the Lockerbie investigation by French police officers examining the 1989 bombing of a French airliner in Niger. The memo states that Detective Superintendent Stuart Henderson, senior investigating officer, told the French delegation “that the piece of PCB [printed circuit board] from the Toshiba [cassette player] bore no trace of explosive contamination and that this was due to the total consummation of the explosive material. Similarly with PT/35, the item was negative in regard to explosive traces”.

It is not known whether Hayes knew of the tests alluded to in the memo, and there is no suggestion that he deliberately misled the court. Henderson did not testify at the trial, and there is no suggestion that he acted improperly.

Christine Grahame, SNP MSP and convener of the Justice Committee, said yesterday: “This adds to the growing body of evidence that Megrahi’s conviction, if it was placed before the appeal court today, would not stand the test of being proven beyond reasonable doubt.”

Calls for a public enquiry have been led by the campaign group Justice for Megrahi. Group member Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died in the Lockerbie bombing, said yesterday: “At the end of Megrahi’s trial, PT/35 stood out for me as being shrouded in a cloud of anomalies. Everything that I’ve learned since then has added to my suspicion that there was something very wrong.”

The trial court heard that Hayes found the fragment in May 1989 in the collar of a blast-damaged shirt. However, his laboratory notes and the collar’s police evidence label were inexplicably altered, and other official documents gave the date of discovery as January 1990.

Hayes’s employer, the RARDE, was involved in a string of miscarriages of justice in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1990, Hayes and senior colleagues were criticised by former appeal court judge Sir John May in his report on the Maguire Seven case, in which individuals had been charged with handling explosives linked to the IRA. Sir John said they knew of evidence pointing to the innocence of the accused yet failed to inform the court.

After seeing PT/35, Mebo’s owner, Edwin Bollier, said it was from a prototype circuit board that was never part of a functioning timer.

The police memo was one of hundreds of documents appended to the 800-page report into Megrahi’s conviction produced by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission. However, its potential significance was apparently overlooked.

The Crown Office would not comment directly on the memo. In a joint statement with Dumfries and Galloway Police, which led the Lockerbie investigation, it said: “The only appropriate forum for the determination of guilt or innocence is the criminal court. Mr Megrahi was convicted unanimously … following trial and his conviction was upheld unanimously by five judges in an appeal court.”

Sunday, 16 July 2017

The prosecution’s case was farcical

[What follows is a post by John Ashmore on The Staggers, the New Statesman's rolling blog, from this date in 2010:]

The Lockerbie bomber? A likely story . . .

In all the furore over Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, we have lost sight of one important fact.

So, the British ambassador to the US says that the government "deeply regrets" the release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie atrocity. Meanwhile, US senators are calling for an inquiry into allegations that BP lobbied the British government to let Megrahi go in order to protect their interests in Libya.

News of his release on compassionate grounds a year ago prompted a similar wave of indignation. The papers bleated about Megrahi showing no compassion to his victims, that this was not "justice", and that the government was ignoring the victims of the bombing. (...)

What is rarely mentioned amid all the outrage is that there is considerable doubt over Megrahi's guilt.

As the late Paul Foot pointed out, having sat through the whole of Megrahi's trial at [Zeist] in 2001, the prosecution's case was farcical.

That Megrahi felt the need to write 300 pages about his innocence is odd -- one ought to have sufficed.

To summarise, Megrahi is meant to have planted a bomb on a plane in Malta, which then travelled on to Frankfurt, and then on again to Heathrow, before finally exploding on Pan Am Flight 103 in the sky above Lockerbie. We are supposed to believe, then, that the bomb got on to three planes in a row without being detected. It seems a lot more likely that the bomb was planted at London than anywhere else.

In their judgment, the three judges at the [Zeist] trial also pointed out that there was nothing that proved Megrahi had put a bomb on the plane in Malta. They noted: "The absence of any explanation of the method by which the primary suitcase might have been placed on board KM180 [Air Malta] is a major difficulty for the Crown case."

What's more, Megrahi was apparently aided by a conspirator, yet his co-accused at the Hague trial was unanimously acquitted.

The prosecution's star witness was Tony Gauci, a Maltese shopkeeper, who claimed to remember Megrahi buying clothes from his shop. These clothes apparently found their way into the case in which the bomb was concealed.

Gauci also said, however, that he remembered it raining on the day Megrahi came in, yet meteorological records show this was not the case. This does not discount Gauci's testimony, but it must give pause for thought.

His claim to be able to remember and identify a single customer many months after he apparently entered his shop is much more difficult to sustain. Again, the court expressed its reservations, saying that "Mr Gauci's initial description to DCI Bell would not in a number of respects fit the first accused" (Megrahi).

Perhaps those calling for an inquiry into the circumstances of this man's release should dig a little deeper into how he was convicted in the first place.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

BP lobbied UK Government to speed up prisoner transfer agreement

[What follows is excerpted from a report published in The Evening Standard on this date in 2010:]

BP admitted today that it put pressure on the British Government to speed up talks on a deal that led directly to the early release of the Lockerbie bomber.

In a statement the oil giant said that in "late 2007" it told ministers that "we were concerned about the slow progress that was being made in concluding a Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Libya".
The agreement was a key piece of the complex diplomatic jigsaw that ended in the dramatic return of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi to Tripoli on compassionate grounds last August. The lobbying came after BP signed a $900 million exploration agreement with Libya in May 2007.
BP said it was aware that any delay in signing the agreement "could have a negative impact on UK commercial interests, including the ratification by the Libyan government of BP's exploration agreement".
However, the company insisted that it did not get involved in the detail of al-Megrahi's release.
It said: "The decision to release Mr al- Megrahi in August 2009 was taken by the Scottish government. It's not for BP to comment on the decision of the Scottish government. BP was not involved in any discussions with the UK Government or the Scottish government about the release of Mr al-Megrahi."
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would look at requests from US Senators to investigate the role BP played in the release.
Yesterday, Mrs Clinton confirmed she had received the letter from Democratic Senators Robert Menendez, Frank Lautenberg, Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer "and we will obviously look into it".

Friday, 14 July 2017

Trial told of security weakness

[This is the headline over a report that appeared on the BBC News website on this date in 2000. It reads in part:]

The Lockerbie trial has heard an airport supervisor admit it would have been possible for an unchecked bag to have been put on a flight from Malta which connected with Pan Am 103.

But Wilfred Borg, ground operations general manager at Malta's Luqa Airport, denied unidentified luggage records produced by the prosecution showed safety procedures were broken.

Prosecutors are trying to prove the two Libyans accused of bombing a New York-bound airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, planted the suitcase with the bomb on an Air Malta flight which later connected with the Pan Am flight.

Mr Borg was questioned for hours by prosecutor Alan Turnbull about safety operations at the airport. (...)

In particular, he pointed to a 21 December 1988 Air Malta flight to Cairo in which five bags left on the tarmac in a previous flight were cleared without any apparent record of their identification by passengers.

"Is the obvious inference not that baggage was on board without passengers?" he asked.

Mr Borg replied: "No."

"There must have at least have been a possibility," Mr Turnbull insisted.

"I cannot discount the possibility," the witness answered.

Mr Turnbull said 55 bags were checked and recorded as loaded onto KM 180 to Frankfurt, but noted that although the flight coupons belonging to a group of three passengers showed 16 bags, the check-in list only registered 14 bags.

Mr Borg rejected the prosecutor's suggestion that a decline in the average number of inconsistencies after February 1989 suggested security lapses were cleaned up after German police came to Malta to question airport employees in connection with the Lockerbie bombing.

At the end of the day, Turnbull asked Mr Borg to verify a photo badge that gave defendant Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, the Libyan airline's station manager, security clearance throughout the airport.

This was after the prosecutor had asked whether a person familiar with security operations and access to loading areas could "deliberately have circumvented the checks you had in place?"

Mr Borg replied: "Anything is possible. Whether it was probable is a different story."

[RB: What follows is excerpted from TheLockerbieTrial.com’s contemporaneous commentary on this evidence:]

Certain assumptions have been made regarding Malta's Luqa airport. It has been assumed by many that because Malta is a small country then it follows that their airport security would be lax.

The Crown will undoubtedly contend that all was not well with security at Luqa airport and this will assist their assertions that the suitcase containing the bomb was inserted at this point.

However our investigations have uncovered startling new facts which may counter this part of the Crown theory.

The arguments that may be used to counter this claim have come from a source which will surprise many. It comes directly from the US Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA.

In 1987, a year before the bombing of Pan Am 103, Pan Am made it known that they wished to operate a cargo service to and from Malta. In any instances, where an American flag carrier, such as Pan Am, makes it known that they wish to fly into an airport for the first time, the FAA is mandated to carry out inspections and assessments of the airport concerned.

Officials of the FAA carried out such an assessment of Luqa airport and their report will do nothing to further the Crown's case regarding lax security.

Sources from within the FAA, who spoke on condition of anonymity, have informed us that if they [the FAA] scored airports on a point system giving points out of ten, then their assessment of Luqa Airport would be 9 out of 10.

With the exception of some administrative recommendations, the FAA gave Luqa airport, Malta, a clean bill of health.

Hardly the picture of a small third world countries airport with poor security. Anyone familiar with Luqa airport during that period would know that armed soldiers from the Maltese armed forces carried out much of the security at the airport.

These revelations may have come to light earlier (we learned of this 3 months ago) had the FAA been more careful about their archived documentation.

Those same sources within the FAA confirmed to us that during 1993/1994, the FAA destroyed many assessments and inspections of European airports, covering the 1980s, including the report compiled on Luqa airport. Our source has stated that this destruction was done in error and not in any way to thwart the Lockerbie investigation. The Government of Malta was given a copy of the FAA report.

We make no assertions that the FAA, by destroying these reports, acted in any way maliciously and our sources within the FAA have spoken of the quality and level of co-operation extended to those involved in the legal preparations for this trial.

While the issues under examination today are specific to Air Malta and not to Luqa airport, there is undoubtedly a connection with regards to overall security procedures.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Denying public inquiry indefensible

What follows is an item originally posted on this blog on this date in 2009.

Justice, compassion, integrity


[What follows is the text of an article by Christine Grahame MSP in the Scottish edition of yesterday's Sunday Express. As far as I can discover, the article does not appear on the newspaper's website.]

He is the face of an atrocity which remains the worst act of terrorism ever perpetrated on UK soil, but soon, within a few months, the man convicted of the Lockerbie Pan Am 103 bombing will be dead. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi has advanced stage terminal prostate cancer. On the two occasions when I visited him at Greenock Prison his constant discomfort was clearly evident. For almost 10 years since his conviction he has fought relentlessly to clear his name, but his degenerative terminal illness has changed his focus. Now he is a man desperate to see his family before he dies.

When the UK Government learned of Megrahi’s imminent second appeal following a lengthy four year investigation by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission which concluded there may have been a miscarriage of justice, Tony Blair hastily put in place a Prisoner Transfer Agreement with the Libyan Government. It was two years before that appeal began.

Many in the UK Government and elsewhere who do not want this second appeal by Mr Megrahi to go ahead. Why?

The reputation of the Scottish legal system would be on the line if Mr Megrahi were successful, yet with every week that goes by another significant piece of new evidence undermines the Crown’s case. There are professional reputations in the Scottish legal establishment and in the US that are being challenged here.

Robert Black, the highly respected Professor Emeritus of Scots Law at the University of Edinburgh who knows this case inside out has concluded: “I am satisfied that not only was there a wrongful conviction, but the victim of it was an innocent man. Lawyers, and I hope others, will appreciate this distinction.” That in itself is a serious indictment of the Scottish legal system.

Megrahi’s appeal has been plagued by delay and takes no account whatsoever of his terminal condition. Last Tuesday the Court of Appeal announced a further delay due to the ill health of one of the Appeal Judges, Lord Wheatley. This additional delay puts the process back a further four months at least. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” Megrahi’s defence lawyer said when the Court announcement was made. The latest hold-up ensures, beyond reasonable doubt that Megrahi will not live to see the end of the appeal process, regardless of what legal choices he makes in the next few weeks.

He has a very stark decision to make either continue with the appeal and at the point of his death a family member can take it forward to its conclusion on his behalf. This option means Megrahi will die in prison in an environment that senior prison officials have already told me are not suitable for a terminally ill man. Or alternatively he can abandon his appeal and hope that he is granted a Prisoner Transfer back to Libya, but this is by no means guaranteed.

There is however a third way; compassionate release to Libya which would allow him to die near to his close knit family, including his elderly parents and allow the appeal to proceed to a determination.

This can be granted unilaterally by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice and would reflect the principles of Scots law based on justice and compassion. This option is supported by legal experts and relatives of victims such as the redoubtable Dr Jim Swire who has campaigned tirelessly to expose the truth behind the bombing which claimed the life of his daughter Flora. Many are opposed to such a compromise of course, including a significant number, but not all, of the US relatives of Pan Am 103 as are senior officials in the Scottish Justice Department, some of whom built their careers on the Lockerbie case.

A Prisoner Transfer may be seen as conveniently ending the matter. That would be na├»ve. Such is the weight of fresh evidence indicating Megrahi’s innocence combined with significant doubt over the original material used to convict in the first place, that calls for a public inquiry are likely to increase and denying one, indefensible. It is vital that the truth is exposed, for all involved, and most particularly victims families. Compassionate release offers the only compromise which would exhaust due legal process, demonstrate compassion and prove the integrity of the Scottish judicial system. Justice, compassion, integrity, three words engraved on the Scottish Parliament’s Mace. Let’s hope and trust this nation lives up to them.

[RB: As we now (2017) know, the compassionate release of Abdelbaset Megrahi did not allow his appeal to continue and due process to be observed. Why not?  Because the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, wholly gratuitously and unnecessarily, insisted on dealing with Megrahi’s compassionate release application along with the Libyan Government’s prisoner transfer application, and the latter required abandonment of the ongoing appeal. Cunning, eh?]

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Justice Secretary to meet Megrahi over repatriation

[What follows is the text of a report published on The Scotsman website on this date in 2009:]

Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill is to meet the Lockerbie bomber to discuss his possible transfer home to Libya to serve out the rest of his prison sentence.

The Scottish Government confirmed yesterday that it had received a request from Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi to meet Mr MacAskill to put his case. A meeting is likely to take place "soon", probably in Greenock prison, where Megrahi, who has been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer, is being held.

Megrahi was convicted in 2001 for the 1988 bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, in which 270 people died.

A spokesman for Mr MacAskill said: "The justice secretary feels it is right to hear from all the people who would be affected by the decision to ensure he has the best possible information on which to base any decision."

The transfer application, which was submitted in May, normally takes around 90 days to complete. A decision from Mr MacAskill, who has vowed to ignore political and economic considerations, is expected by mid-August.

It is separate to a second appeal against his conviction from Megrahi being considered by the Scottish courts. A decision on this has been delayed until the autumn due to the illness of one of the judges.

In determining whether to allow the transfer, Mr MacAskill has also sought the views of the British and American families of victims of the attack, as well as that of US attorney-general Eric Holder.

Mr MacAskill said last month: "The Lockerbie air disaster remains the most serious terrorist atrocity committed in the United Kingdom. I am aware of the pain and grief still being experienced by many people whose lives were affected by it both here in Scotland and across the world."

Megrahi's case was raised by Libyan leader Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi, when he met Gordon Brown at last week's G8 summit in Italy, but the Prime Minister told him it was a matter for the Scottish Government.

[RB: Commentary on the MacAskill visit to Megrahi can be found here.]