The Crown Office has written to relatives of victims of the Lockerbie tragedy about allegations the man convicted of the bombing has somehow admitted his guilt.

According to a Reuters interview at the start of the week, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi said: “The West exaggerated my name.” However, newspapers around the globe have quoted this to say that the West exaggerated his role. 

The Crown Office letter to relatives states: “We are aware that Megrahi is reported as having said that his role in the Lockerbie bombing was exaggerated. 

“Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary have been instructed to obtain the whole interview. The translation will be checked for accuracy. As always, we will provide you with more information as soon as it is appropriate to do so and answer as many of your questions as we can.” 

Megrahi, released more than two years ago on compassionate grounds, has consistently denied involvement in the bombing. 

An academic from the University of St Andrews told The Herald yesterday that the translation was different to that reported.

Dina Al Afranji, a teaching fellow at the Arabic department in the School of Modern Languages at the university, said: “In this extract, Megrahi says: ‘I am a very simple man, and the West made a great deal more of me’.”

Reuters stood by its translation of the interview.