Today I had a two-hour meeting in Her Majesty's Prison Greenock with Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, at his invitation (my first). Since the date of the trial court's verdict against him, my position has been a clear one: on the evidence led at the trial his conviction was simply an outrageous miscarriage of justice, about which the Scottish criminal justice system should feel nothing but shame. As a result of today's meeting I am satisfied that not only was there a wrongful conviction, but the victim of it was an innocent man. Lawyers, and I hope others, will appreciate this distinction.
I will not be disclosing the content of my discussions with Mr Megrahi, but I can say that he now speaks English with a fine Scottish accent (his first words to me were "Thank you for visiting me on such a dreich day") and that his taste in mints is impeccable.
["dreich" in relation to weather means dreary, cheerless, bleak. See http://www.dsl.ac.uk/]