[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/europe/08/24/oakley.lockerbie/art.scottish.parliament.spa.jpg caption="Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill says compassion was the only factor in the release."]
An act of compassion or an undercover deal? What is the truth about the release of Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi from the Scottish prison where the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing was incarcerated?
Defending his controversial decision Monday at an emergency session of the Scottish Parliament, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill argued that it was a case of "Do as you would wish to be done by."
He would not have let out al Megrahi, he said, on a prisoner transfer. That would have been against the promises given to the U.S. authorities and to the Lockerbie victims' families that the Libyan would serve his full life term in Scotland.
But when MacAskill, a member of the Scottish National Party-run government, was told by doctors and prison authorities last December that al Megrahi had terminal and untreatable cancer the situation changed.
He released al Megrahi, he said, strictly on grounds of compassion - the kind of compassion the terrorists had failed to show the Lockerbie victims.
Filed under: Lockerbie Incident
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