This is the headline over a post on Michael White's politics blog on The Guardian's website. It reads in part:
'Why is [Megrahi] in the news again as well as being in Greenock prison on the lower Clyde? He has always denied his guilt, lost an appeal in March 2002, but has been given leave by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission to appeal again. (...)
'If the families, not all of whom regard the conviction as doubtful, are prepared to let him go, why should we think otherwise?
'My only further thought from the period is that Colonel Gadafy's Libya in the 80s was a friendless whipping boy for US anger, impotence and frustration about the Arab world. It was the decade when Ronald Reagan had it bombed from UK bases for no convincing reason. (Margaret Thatcher agreed only because she felt she owed him one for help retaking the Falklands.)
'Syria, far guiltier of anti-American actions, as I recall, was treated more leniently for reasons of state, though no longer. (...)
'It is all far from Greenock prison, where al-Megrahi is apparently dying. Over to you, Mr MacAskill [the Cabinet Secretary for Justice in the Scottish Government].'
The full article can be read here.
[Note by RB: It is not strictly accurate to say that Abdelbaset Megrahi's fate rests with Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. Seeking release on compassionate grounds is one avenue open to him, and the decision on that does rest with the Scottish Government. But it is also open to Mr Megrahi to apply to the High Court for interim liberation (bail, in other words) pending his appeal. The decision on that issue would be a matter for the judges of the High Court and not for politicians or ministers.]