MINISTERS moved quickly yesterday to dismiss suggestions that they were preparing to transfer the Lockerbie bomber to Libya to serve out the remainder of his sentence.
They were reacting to the decision of the Crown Office to write to the families of the victims informing them about the prisoner transfer agreement with Libya, which is due to come into force at the end of this month.
That sparked renewed speculation that ministers were preparing to send Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi home because he has terminal cancer.
But a spokesman for the First Minister insisted yesterday that no decision would be taken on Megrahi's future until a formal application for his return to Libya had been received.
Megrahi's appeal is due to start shortly after the agreement comes into force on 27 April, meaning it is unlikely he will be able to submit an application for transfer for at least several months – no-one can apply while they are appealing.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: "It will be for the Scottish ministers to decide on any application for prisoner transfer."