Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Foreign Office clarification of Megrahi statement

[On 23 November 2011 in the House of Lords the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Lord Howell, answered a question about Lockerbie from Lord Selkirk of Douglas. A short debate followed.  The FCO yesterday issued a ministerial statement correcting certain remarks that the minister then made.  It reads as follows:]

State of health of Abdelbassett Al-Megrahi

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Alistair Burt): My Noble Friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (The Rt Hon Lord Howell of Guildford) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement: On 23 November, Official Report, column 1051, I said that part of the Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary would embrace the question of Abdelbasset al-Megrahi’s condition and that we were awaiting the precise details of his health from the Libyan Government.

I would like to clarify that the Government has not asked the Libyan government to provide information about Mr al-Megrahi’s health. The terms of Mr al-Megrahi’s release from prison on licence specify that he has to comply with a number of conditions set by the Scottish Ministers. These conditions include the submission of a monthly medical report to East Renfrewshire Council. As I said on 23 November, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have passed on a request from the Devolved Administration to the Libyan ChargĂ© d’Affaires in London asking the Libyan authorities to assist in ensuring that the supervision arrangements of Megrahi’s licence are observed.

The Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary’s investigation concerns the involvement of others, with Mr al-Megrahi, in the Lockerbie bombing. The Government will continue to support the police in following any new leads, including any new information that may come to light concerning Mr al-Megrahi.

[The House of Lords Hansard report of this statement can be read here.]

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