[This is the heading over a letter from Mrs Jo Greenhorn in today's edition of The Herald. It reads as follows:]
Given calls by Labour’s Richard Baker for the release of the medical records of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, I believe he, and his party, have questions to answer ahead of the Scottish elections next year (“Row sparks new Megrahi records call”, The Herald, October 1).
Can we assume that the Labour Party disapproves of Data Protection laws?
This is what Mr Baker implies every time he calls for the full publication of a particular person’s medical records. These laws either cover all of us or none.
Such laws exist to ensure no medical professional, or indeed, politician, can breach the rights of any patient.
So, are medical records covered by Data Protection law? Yes or no? If yes, Mr Baker should fall silent on the matter. If no, Labour needs to clarify its policy.
The authority to make such a change does not exist at Holyrood. It would need to be made from Westminster.
Were this not the case the Scottish Government could have authorised, for example, the release of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) report on Megrahi’s case some time ago.
Labour in government in London prevented this by using Data Protection laws to withhold vital evidence for Megrahi’s appeal. I would admire Mr Baker more if the doubts surrounding Megrahi’s guilt provoked equally strenuous demands from him for clearing the route to that very thing happening.
The SCCRC stated in 2007 that a miscarriage of justice may have occurred at the original trial. That statement is not hidden by Data Protection laws.
Mr Baker and his party do not seem interested in the serious doubts about Megrahi’s conviction. That they choose instead to back a foreign government that paid some $2 million (£1.26m) to the star witness at that trial.
That same government in Washington breaches international protocol by attempting to interfere in Scottish affairs.