As could easily be expected there is an outcry over the release of the convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi. The media naturally trying to make conspiracy connections between his release and lucrative oil contracts in Libya and seemingly unable to accept that the Scottish Justice Minister was simply following the legal process in Scotland which includes mercy in exceptional circumstances.
The cry, largely from the USA, that he should have been kept in prison to die is a cry for vengance and not for justice. He is going to die in the next few weeks or months and whether he was guilty or not and there does at least seem to be grounds for doubt, is not the point. In releasing him Scotland has shown that it’s values are greater than those of terrorists and of those who advocate revenge.
It is of no surprise that the strongest condemnations have arisen in the US and in particular from the US administration. This after all is a nation that still executes people, many of whom are mentally ill or who were under age at the time of their offence. A nation who kidnaps people and secretly transports them to imprisonment, without trial, in foreign lands and which authorises torture.
We have nothing to learn from the US, the so called ‘Christian’ country but they have much to learn from this courageous, difficult and merciful decision by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill.