Thursday, 10 August 2017

Easier to grant compassionate release if appeal dropped

[What follows is taken from an account written by Abdelbaset Megrahi which is to be found on page 354 of John Ashton’s Megrahi: You are my Jury:]

On 10 August [2009], [Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny] MacAskill and his senior civil servants met a delegation of Libyan officials, including Minister [Abdel Ati] al-Obeidi, the Libyan Supreme Court Judge Azzam Eddeeb, and the London ChargĂ© d’Affaires Omar Jelban. By this time I was desperate. The 90-day 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 Once the others had withdrawn, he stated that MacAskill gave him to understand that it would be easier to grant compassionate release if I dropped my appeal.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.

Next day, with huge reluctance and sadness, I broke the news to [solicitor] Tony Kelly that I was dropping the appeal

1 comment:

  1. "Once the others had withdrawn, he stated that MacAskill gave him to understand that it would be easier to grant compassionate release if I dropped my appeal."

    Does anyone think that if Megrahi would have refused, that he would not have died in his cell?

    This particular part of the story is maybe especially shameful. It is simply blackmail, like getting a signature on a confession in a torture chamber.

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