Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 16:26 UK

Probe will not judge bomber move

Megrahi
The release of Megrahi caused outrage among some Americans

The Holyrood inquiry into the release of the Lockerbie bomber will not consider whether the Scottish government was right to free him.

Abdelbasset al-Megrahi, who is terminally ill, was freed in August on compassionate grounds and allowed to return to Libya.

The parliament's justice committee said it would focus on the process followed by Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.

His decision to release Megrahi was met with condemnation at home and abroad.

This included the US government and Scottish opposition parties

Megrahi was the only person convicted of the 1988 bombing of PanAm flight 103, in which 270 people died.

Announcing its remit into the inquiry, the justice committee said it would look into the application for Megrahi's release from Greenock Prison on compassionate grounds, as well as a request to send him home under a prisoner transfer agreement - which was rejected by Scottish ministers.

The cross-party committee said it "will not consider the question of whether the cabinet secretary was right to conclude that compassionate release was justified in the circumstances".

MSPs are likely to look into the timing of Mr MacAskill's decision, the advice he took and the circumstances surrounding Megrahi's much-criticised jubilant homecoming reception in Tripoli.

The committee will also question Mr MacAskill and a series of officials.



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