The Sun reports that Abdelbaset Megrahi today has an appointment at Inverclyde Royal Hospital. This apparently involves a major security operation. The full story can be read here and the aangirfan blog's concerns here.
The report in The Times can be read here. It contains the following paragraphs:
'This week it emerged that the Appeal Court in Edinburgh had decided to appoint a special defender to view confidential documents believed to contain information about the electronic timer used to detonate the aircraft.
'The court's decision came after an unprecendented hearing behind closed doors during which the UK Government argued that the documents should remain secret to avoid compromising security. David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, claimed that handing over the documents would put national security at risk.
'It will be the first time that a special defender has been used in a Scottish court, although the process has been used in English courts during terrorism cases. Lord Hamilton, the Lord President [sic; should read "the Lord Justice General"], sat with Lords Kingarth and Eassie last month to decide whether al-Megrahi can obtain a fair trial without access to the documents.
'The Advocate General, Lord Davidson of Glen Clova, who represents the UK Government in the Scottish courts, asked the court to appoint a security-vetted lawyer to look at the documents on behalf of al-Megrahi's defence team before arguing which parts of the documents should be published.
'The final decision on the release of sections of the document would lie with judges. The court has not yet formally published its decision but Kim Howells, the Foreign Office Minister, has written a letter confirming that the court has decided to appoint a special defender.
'It is understood that al-Megrahi's legal team is planning to appeal against the decision to the Privy Council on the ground that the move would violate his human rights.
'Dr Hans Koechler, the United Nations special envoy to the trial in the Netherlands of the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing, criticised the development as “intolerable”. Dr Koechler said that it was “detrimental to the rule of law”.'
The Daily Mail has a long article with photographs, concentrating principally on the security arrangements and the cost of the visit. It also has quotes from Susan Cohen, the lazy tabloid journalist's first port of call for some juicy inflammatory copy. Why do UK journalists not seek the reactions of UK relatives, rather than the reaction of one specific US relative? The answer, I'm afraid, is clear: controversy sells newspapers and you wouldn't get controversy from UK relatives over medical treatment for Megrahi. Gutter journalism.