[What follows is the text of a press release:]
The writer of a new play about the Lockerbie bombing being premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe on Wednesday believes First Minister Alex Salmond’s handling of the atrocity is undermining Scotland’s bid for independence.
Alan Clark’s new play, The Lockerbie Bomber, deals with the crash and its aftermath.
He said: “I suspect a number of Scots would on balance vote for independence but what’s stopping them is the failure of the SNP Government to act independently on Lockerbie and mount an inquiry.
“As the play asks: what’s the point of independence if injustice is allowed to prosper and the Crown Office is permitted to win the day? Is this the fairer, better nation we’ve been promised by the “Yes” campaign?
“How can the First Minister present Scotland as a respected, ethical nation about to take its place on the world stage when the justice system he presides over is reminiscent of a banana republic – when at the Lockerbie Kamp Zeist trial, it’s alleged that crucial evidence was suppressed, that evidence was fabricated, that a witness was paid millions for his testimony and that members of the prosecution team perverted the course of justice?
“I believe it makes Scotland look a laughing stock on the world stage.
“I agree with former MP Tam Dalyell who said last year: “The SNP Government - and Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill in particular - are burying their heads in the sand on the Lockerbie issue. If they were to admit that Mr Megrahi had nothing to do with the crime of Lockerbie, they would then by implication condemn the very institution which shows Scotland to be most separate from England – the justice system.”
Clark, from Falkirk, added: “I was a student at St Andrews University at the same time as Mr Salmond and in general I've admired him since then. But on Lockerbie I believe he needs to be brave and show leadership by casting the Crown Office adrift and abandoning the fiction that Megrahi’s conviction is safe - otherwise he risks looking weak and indecisive.”
The Lockerbie Bomber is on at C venues in Chambers Street in Edinburgh from July 31 to August 13 at 12 noon daily.