Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill was today under pressure to make a statement in the Scottish Parliament after it was claimed he sent a message to the Lockerbie bomber that he should drop his appeal to smooth the way for his compassionate release.
The allegations – strongly denied by the Scottish Government – are contained in a new book, Megrahi: You Are My Jury, by researcher and TV producer John Ashton, in which Abdelbaset al-Megrahi claims he was “the innocent victim of dirty politics, a flawed investigation and judicial folly”.
A Scottish Government spokesman branded the book “third-hand hearsay”.
He said: “We can say categorically that neither the Scottish Government had any involvement of any kind in Mr Al-Megrahi dropping his appeal, or indeed any interest in it.
“That was entirely a matter for Mr Al-Megrahi and his legal team.”
But Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats all said Mr MacAskill should make a statement to parliament in the wake of the book’s allegations.