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Annabel Goldie says Scotland's position on the world stage would have been better served by releasing the Lockerbie bomber to a secure house, hospice or hospital

GoldieLockerbieStatement During the emergency session of the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, the Conservative leader there, Annabel Goldie, has again declared that it was wrong for the Lockerbie bomber to be released back to Libya.

She told the chamber:

"For me the image of the Lockerbie terrorist atrocity is etched indelibly in my memory. I shall never forget my sense of disbelief and horror - which is why I want to make clear that the decision to release Mr Megrahi was not done in the name of Scotland or in the name of this Parliament or in my name. It was a decision made by Mr Salmond’s SNP Government and Mr Salmond’s Minister.

"If Mr Megrahi’s condition is so severe that keeping him in prison is inhumane, why could he not have been released to a secure house or a hospice or a hospital in Scotland? Is this SNP government seriously suggesting that our Scottish Police who coped so admirably with security arrangements for G8 Leaders could not adequately protect Mr Megrahi?

"I know he said in his statement that it would take 48 police officers to look after Mr Megrahi in Scotland. That is a small price to pay to for just a few weeks. Scotland's reputation on the world stage is worth far more. Or is this SNP government seriously arguing that our excellent NHS is incapable of providing compassionate and sensitive palliative care? Even Mr Megrahi’s own lawyer Dr Ibrahim Legwell considers Mr Megrahi would receive better treatment in Scotland than in Libya.

"Compassion and justice would have been better served by that approach than by a convicted terrorist being feted as a hero in Libya to a backdrop of waving saltires.

"Equally disturbing is the extraordinary and incomprehensible silence of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. This SNP Government's flawed decision has significant implications for Foreign Policy and Trade so what joint efforts are now being undertaken by Alex Salmond and Gordon Brown to limit the damage done to our country’s international reputation and to our economy?"

Jonathan Isaby


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