Thursday, 9 October 2014

MacAskill damaging record at Justice and Policing but right on Megrahi

[This is the headline over an article published today on the For Argyll website.  It reads in part:]

Beleaguered Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, has made an almighty mess of too much at the Justice department to survive – although the concentrated attack on his performance has not come when it should – at the point where he persisted against all reason and evidence in trying to remove from Scots law the requirement for prosecution to present corroboratory evidence. (...)

Some dimwit MSPs even did what they were told and voted for this proposal in the Scottish parliament, while simultaneously throwing up their hands in public at the irresponsible horror of if. It was only the outrage of the public that gave pause to the rampant Justice Secretary, anxious to do his bit for the independence vote in attracting women voters who were said to favour the move. The matter is not necessarily concluded either, simply postponed until people stop watching. (...)

It is unfair though, that Mr MacAskill, is vilified for releasing the dubiously convicted and cancer striken Lockerbie bomber, Ali Al Megrahi, to return to die with his family in Libya.

Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora died in the bombing of the Pan Am plane and has been a doughty campaigner for those guilty to be brought to justice. He came to find Megrahi an innocent man and finally regarded him as a friend.

What MacAskill had to confront was the fact of Megrahi’s conviction.

He chose to act on the basis of growing uncertainty on the rightness of that conviction and on the grounds of common humanity. Whatever political chicanery was behind all of this and whatever its origin, we may never know – but the right decision was made and this is one for which the Justice Secretary ought not to be hounded.

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