Here is what the First Minister, Alex Salmond, had to say today about the release of Abdelbaset Megrahi in his keynote speech at the SNP annual conference in Inverness. The full speech can be read here.
"I am told that our Labour/Tory/Liberal opponents cannot understand why we are more popular now than when we were elected.
"It is simple. People like the record of action of an SNP government compared to the wasted years of a peely wally executive
"As a party and as a government, we will stick firm to our principles.
"And without fear or favour, we will take the big decisions. And delegates that is exactly what Kenny MacAskill has done.
"I was delighted but not surprised when statesmen like Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela welcomed the decision to release Mr Al Megrahi.
"Delegates, Kenny MacAskill made the right decision for the right reasons. He showed that there is a place for compassion in the administration of justice. That even in the face of the most terrible atrocity, the most severe provocation, we can put mercy before retribution.
"We all recognise the suffering of the families of the victims. What they have experienced no family, no person, should ever endure.
"But the evil of terrorism thrives in the darkness of fear and shrinks from the light of compassion.
"It is right that Mr Al Megrahi was tried and convicted for his crimes, but it is also right that he has been sent home to die.
"Last week Arun Gandhi came to see me - the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
"He seeks with our Scottish churches to found a reconciliation centre in one of our great universities.
"One of the things that he told me is that his grandfather's philosophy is much misunderstood.
"His resistance was not passive but active.
"His dedication to non violence a strength not a weakness.
"Sometimes someone has to break the cycle of retribution with an act of compassion.
"That is what Kenny MacAskill did and we should be proud of him for doing it."