Tuesday, 27 July 2010

US declines to allow release of note of MacAskill-Holder phone call

The Obama administration has no plans to release any further correspondence with Scotland relating to the release of the Libyan convicted in the Lockerbie bombing.

“Nothing more needs to be released,” State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told CNSNews on Monday, after the department made public the text of a letter sent to Scottish ministers eight days before Abdel Baset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was freed and flown home to Libya.

Earlier, the Scottish government said there were two documents relating to last year’s correspondence between Scottish and US officials on Megrahi, which the US government had withheld permission for Edinburgh to release. (...)

The second document cited by Scotland was described as “our note of the conversation” between Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill and Attorney General Eric Holder. The two apparently spoke by telephone on June 26, 2009.

Ahead of a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the matter scheduled for Thursday, CNSNews asked Crowley whether that final, still-unreleased document would now be made available.

Crowley said there were multiple phone conversations “over a number of months” with Scottish officials relating to Megrahi, involving Holder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other administration officials.

He questioned how the US would be in a position to verify the authenticity of a Scottish description of a single conversation. “How can we agree on a Scottish account of a phone conversation between leaders?”

Crowley said that all phone conversations on the matter were consistent with the position laid out in the LeBaron letter – “that Megrahi should never leave Scotland.”

[The above are excerpts from a report just published on the CNS News website.]


  1. [Ever get the feeling the whole 'Megrahi release' saga is like an argument with your wife? If the argument goes unresolved, it tends to resurface in the mix of a subsequent disagreement at a later date, but repackaged for its new purpose, with depressing predictability]
    If there was ever a more salient demonstration as to why politics and the justiciary should remain separate then point it out to me; a verdict is forced on the legal process, where prosecution evidence is most likely fabricated, exculpatory evidence suppressed, witnesses coerced by reward, all in pursuit of foreign policy expediency. Sometime later, a new set of politicians (with scant regard to the continuing damage of an earlier conspiracy) repackage this flawed outcome to further their particular political expediency. This all plays out with depressing predictability – and will continue to do so in the future.

  2. Blogiston, ironically it is meant to be the case that politics and the judiciary in this country ARE separate. ;)