Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Alex Salmond will not publish Lockerbie bomber medical records

[This is the headline over a report just published on The Guardian website. The following are extracts:]

Alex Salmond is to reject renewed calls from a group of US senators to publish the full medical records of the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing.

The first minister's officials are writing a "courteous" letter to the four Democrat senators turning down their requests to disclose Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's private medical reports, with the names and expertise of his doctors, and to ask the Libyan for permission to release the papers. (...)

Salmond officials will tell the four senators that the only published statement on al-Megrahi's illness, written by Andrew Fraser, director of health with the Scottish prison service and released last year, is the definitive medical report.

They believe medical notes written by his doctors and specialists should remain private as they belong to him as the patient. It is understood that al-Megrahi would also refuse that request.

Scottish government officials privately believe the four senators are exploiting the issue for domestic political reasons: Gillibrand and Schumer are fighting for reelection in November.

Sources in Edinburgh point out their demands have not been supported by the Senate's foreign relations committee, which first began an inquiry into allegations that BP influenced al-Megrahi's release. Of the four, only Menendez and Gillibrand are committee members.

But the senator's demands were supported by the Scottish Labour party and Scottish Tories, who repeated their requests for the full disclosure of all the medical evidence.

James Kelly, Labour's community safety spokesman and the brother of al-Megrahi's Scottish lawyer, Tony Kelly, said MacAskill should have nothing to hide. "The Scottish government keep talking about the array of doctors that were spoken to but no one knows what they actually said," Kelly said.

"It's time for full transparency and anything less that full disclosure smacks of cover-up."

Tony Kelly would not comment on his client's views.

Annabel Goldie, the Scottish Tory leader, said: "Every day that the SNP refuses to publish their evidence, suspicions only grow that the prison doctor's opinion was not supported by the cancer experts. Until we see that evidence, we do not know."

[James Kelly and Annabel Goldie should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. But they are, of course, respectively, Labour and Tory politicians so perhaps no better can be expected. It is to be hoped that the First Minister in his letter to the senators does not overdo the courtesy.]


  1. Good. It's none of their bloody business.

    ?? Tony Kelly is the brother of a Labour MSP ???

  2. No way! I can't believe that. Megrahi really should have had a different lawyer methinks.

  3. As for Goldie she is a fool. These people astonish me by their complete ignorance of the law governing medical records. MacAskill would have seen everything but he cannot publish everything because those notes are confidential and covered by data protection. When I say that I mean they're REALLY covered by Data Protection unlike the made up DP escape route the last Labour Government used to withhold evidence for the appeal.

  4. Two words: CHEMO THHERAPY.
    Enough said.

  5. I meant