Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Kenny MacAskill on his forthcoming Lockerbie book

[An article headlined Book on Lockerbie bombing will show individuals outside of Scotland 'should hang their head in shame', claims Kenny MacAskill is published today on the website of Holyrood magazine. It reads in part:]

Former justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has claimed his forthcoming book on the Lockerbie bombing will show that figures outside of Scotland "should hang their head in shame”.

The former SNP cabinet minister is set to publish a book six-and-a-half years on from releasing the only man convicted of the atrocity which claimed 270 lives.   

MacAskill made the controversial decision to free Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi – who had been jailedin 2001 over the 1988 bombing – on compassionate grounds. Megrahi protested his innocence up until his death in Libya in 2012, almost three years after his release from Greenock Prison.

In an interview with Holyrood before stepping down as an MSP last week, MacAskill, who remained tight-lipped on the contents of the book, described his decision to release the Libyan as an “Andy Warhol moment” and admitted he failed to realise the level of worldwide attention it would attract.

He said: “What I can say, without disclosing the full contents of the book, I knew we were a cog in a wheel, what I didn’t realise was how small a cog and how big a wheel.

“I think what comes out of this is that others should hang their head in shame and none of them are in Scotland.”

MacAskill, who served as justice secretary between 2007 and 2014, refused to expand, however he did defend his decision to publish a book in the first place, adding that it had never been his intention to do so.

He said: “I have to say I think this is my opportunity to tell people [what happened], there are a lot of things out there that people want to know and I think I am entitled to do that. That’s how I see it, I think this is a matter more of setting the record straight.”

Asked to recount his memories of meeting Megrahi at Greenock Prison a few weeks before granting his release in 2009, MacAskill said it was “very functional”. Bringing Megrahi to see him at St Andrew’s House was “one of the options” presented, he added.

“That was clearly preposterous – it would have been an OJ Simpson scenario," he said. "The easiest thing for security, given he was a prisoner, was simply to go to Greenock Prison.”

A Police Scotland report into nine allegations of criminality over the authorities’ handling of the Lockerbie investigation is nearing conclusion, the single force confirmed earlier this month.


  1. '.......others should hang their head(s) in shame and none of them are in Scotland.'

    Splendid to see that the former Justice Secretary doesn't think that JFM falls into the category of those who ought to be hanging their heads in shame for making allegations against Crown, police and forensic officials, which were viewed as ‘defamatory and entirely unfounded …….deliberately false and misleading’ by the Crown Office, to whom he had passed on said allegations contained in a letter addressed to himself and which was clearly marked up as 'Private and Confidential.

  2. Well Well Well. He didn't realise how small a cog we were(UK)and how big a wheel but he still went ahead anyway knowing it was all a big set up. What does that say about the man's honesty and integrity. Thank God we have people like JFM who spoke out when they realised what was going on and who have carried on seeking truth and justice for many years despite the obstacles put up against them. It will be interesting to see who he says controls "the Big Wheel" and who is still controlling the agenda behind the scenes ensuring that the real truth never comes out. I do hope JFM gets the answers it is seeking. They deserve to win and unmask the criminals pulling the strings behind the scenes.

  3. Yes and I am going to toss a caber right into the spokes of the "Big Wheel" and that's a promise.p

  4. I'll be quite interested in what he has to say, but if it's only about the process leading up to the granting of compassionate release and the consequences of it, it won't be all that electrifying.

    I do remember Kenny being very condemnatory of Megrahi when he announced the release. No acknowledgement that the man had abandoned an appeal in order to be able to get home, no acknowledgement that the SCCRC found six grounds on which a miscarriage of justice might have occurred, no acknowledgement of the fact that many highly credible people have been voicing doubts about the conviction since the day the verdict was announced.

    It would be nice to think he now realises he released an innocent man, but I'm not sure he's open-minded enough to take that on board.

  5. “I think what comes out of this is that others should hang their head in shame and none of them are in Scotland.”

    That does sound as if he's only talking about the events surrounding Megrahi's release. Of course, as regards his wrongful conviction, there are rather a lot of people in Scotland who should be hanging their heads in shame.