Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Holyrood Lockerbie bomber release inquiry closed

Megrahi boarding flight to Tripoli
Megrahi was released from Greenock Prison earlier this year

The Scottish Parliament inquiry into the release of the Lockerbie bomber is to be closed.

Holyrood's justice committee has been investigating the decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, who has terminal cancer, on compassionate grounds.

MSPs on the cross-party committee have decided not to take any further evidence, although they will still publish a report, due next year.

Megrahi is the only man convicted for the atrocity, which killed 270 people.

The inquiry has already heard from Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, who insisted the medical advice surrounding the release which was given had been clear.

MSPs, who were considering whether there were further issues to pursue surrounding the release of the Libyan in August, decided to bring the inquiry to an end.

Megrahi was convicted for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie on 21 December, 1988.

A Scottish Parliament spokeswoman said: "They will not take any further evidence. However they think it's right that they should report back to parliament on this."

SNP MSP Stewart Maxwell, a member of the committee, said: "The fact that this inquiry has had to be brought to an end so soon just underlines how Kenny MacAskill took the right decisions for the right reasons, as every scrap of information demonstrated.

"That opposition MSPs are now sheepishly having to bring the inquiry to a close just shows how the committee should have been using its time productively rather than chasing wild conspiracy theories that don't stand the test of scrutiny."

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