[This is the heading over a section of an article by Lucy Adams that was published in The Herald on the occasion of the publication of John Ashton’s Megrahi: You are my Jury. It reads as follows:]
CONTEXT: Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi had two possible routes out of Greenock jail in August 2009: a prisoner transfer application for which he first had to drop his appeal, or compassionate release because of his prostate cancer. The latter route did not demand that he drop his appeal, in contrast to the former. In the event, he ended his appeal, yet the PTA was turned down, and Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill instead granted compassionate release. The chain of actions has always been a mystery, leaving those who believe in Megrahi’s guilt to see his decision as confirmation of their views. Why would an innocent man not pursue an appeal against conviction that he had waited years to begin? Now, for the first time, Megrahi claims that he was pressured to drop the appeal by Mr MacAskill personally through diplomatic channels.
EXTRACT: "On 10 August  MacAskill and his senior civil servants met a delegation of Libyan officials, including Minister [Abdel Ati] Al-Obeidi. By this time I was desperate. The 90-day time limit for considering the prisoner transfer application had passed and, although I had some vocal public supporters, MacAskill was coming under considerable pressure to reject both applications. After the meeting the Libyan delegation came to the prison to visit me. Obeidi said that, towards the end of the meeting, MacAskill had asked to speak to him in private. Once the others had withdrawn, MacAskill told him it would be easier for him to grant compassionate release if I dropped my appeal. He [MacAskill] said he was not demanding that I do so, but the message seemed to me to be clear. I was legally entitled to continue the appeal, but I could not risk doing so. It meant abandoning my quest for justice."
LUCY ADAMS VERDICT: Mr MacAskill, who was not contacted in advance of today's book publication, has always said he could not interfere in the judicial process. If Megrahi's version of events is true, it will prove very damaging to the minister, who has repeatedly distanced himself from any appeal which, if it had gone ahead, could have been a massive embarrassment to the Scottish legal system. The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission had already found six grounds on which Megrahi’s conviction was potentially unsafe.