Page last updated at 14:16 GMT, Tuesday, 25 August 2009 15:16 UK

Bomber document release promised

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi
Documents relating to Megrahi's release are set to be published next week

The Scottish Government has promised to publish all the documents it can relating to the applications to return the Lockerbie bomber to Libya.

It is seeking permission for "all relevant information" to be released before next week's Holyrood debate.

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi sought either transfer to a Libyan jail or release on compassionate grounds.

A Scottish Government spokesman said documents would show it had made "the right decisions for the right reasons."

Permission is currently being sought from the UK Government to publish letters relating to the Prisoner Transfer Agreement (PTA) between the UK and Libya.

A Scottish Government spokesman said permission had already been denied but was being sought again.

It is hoped that permission will be received before a Holyrood debate next Wednesday.

We will certainly publish all the information we are in a position to in a combined, comprehensive fashion, and will do so in advance of next Wednesday's debate
Scottish Government spokesman

A spokesman for Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "We will be very pleased to publish all relevant information."

He claimed the UK government was the "only obstacle" to publishing the material.

He added: "However, we will certainly publish all the information we are in a position to in a combined, comprehensive fashion, and will do so in advance of next Wednesday's debate."

Material due to be published is likely to include notes of a meeting between Mr MacAskill and Megrahi in Greenock prison on 5 August.

Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray has called for notes on the meeting to be issued.

Heavily criticised

The news of the document publication comes as Prime Minister Gordon Brown is set to comment for the first time on the Lockerbie bomber's release.

He was expected to be asked about the decision at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Brown had been heavily criticised for his failure to comment on the issue.

Shadow Scottish Secretary David Mundell described it his silence on the issue as "staggering".

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said it was "absurd and damaging" for him to remain silent on the matter.

However, Dumfries Labour MP Elaine Murray said it was "not necessary" for Mr Brown to state his personal view.



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