[This is the headline over a report issued today by The Press Association news agency. It reads in part:]
The Scottish Government has received about 10,000 letters and emails about the release of the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi.
A response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by the Labour Party revealed the Government has received the equivalent of 190 items of correspondence each week since terminally-ill Megrahi was freed in August 2009.
The Government said it did not have a comprehensive record of all communication received, and it is not known how many of the letters were against or in favour of the decision to release him.
Labour asserted much of the correspondence was in protest against the Government's decision to allow Megrahi to return to his native Libya, and called on ministers to produce a breakdown of the nature of the letters and e-mails.
The party's justice spokesman Richard Baker said: "The decision to release Megrahi was flawed and this volume of complaint shows just how much offence has been caused. The medical evidence has been shown to be wanting and the sight of the Lockerbie bomber being hailed as a hero in Tripoli produced outrage across the world." (...)
A Scottish Government spokesman said Labour's assertion of 10,000 complaints was "entirely misleading", adding: "Responses received were both supportive and unsupportive - for example a letter from the Nelson Mandela Foundation carried his support for the decision - and other issues have generated far greater levels of response, such as the consultation on the then-proposed smoking ban which attracted tens of thousands of responses."
[This story has now (Monday, 24 January) been picked up by The Press and Journal, a daily newspaper with a large circulation in Aberdeen and the North of Scotland.]