[This is the heading over a letter from Tom Minogue published in today's edition of The Scotsman. It reads as follows:]
Like Tam Dalyell (Letters, 27 August), Dr Jim Swire believes Kenny MacAskill's decision was corrupted by self-interest and he is supporting an inexplicable verdict to protect some of his judges/prosecutors from criticism. [Note by RB: I have no recollection, and certainly no record, of Dr Swire having ever made such a crticism of Kenny MacAskill.] He may well be right in this.
Likewise Megrahi's inexplicable decision to abandon the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission appeal may have been the result of a nod and a wink from those dealing with his compassionate release and if so would have been welcomed by those in the justice establishment. If Megrahi had died waiting for his appeal to be heard there would have been an outcry that the Crown Office had procrastinated for years while this appellant's health faded.
And if Megrahi survived long enough to attend his appeal the prospect of Tony Gauci and his brother being called (from wherever they are now) to explain the millions of dollars gifted them by the US government would have been a disaster for Scotland's reputation for independent justice.
So many political factors have dictated events in the Megrahi saga, but for those who believe that MacAskill acted purely on compassionate grounds I would ask them to listen again to his monotone 20-minute statement to the Scottish Parliament.
Invoking the Almighty was pure political theatre pitched at the Bible Belt rather than his constituents in the Central Belt.