Owning up

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IF A politician makes a decision based on evidence that later turns out to be false, he should acknowledge his mistake, correct his mistake and apologise – for example, former Tony Blair and war with Iraq based on evidence of weapons of mass destruction, which did not exist.

Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds based on clinical evidence of a three-month prognosis for terminal prostate cancer. This evidence proved false and he lived a further 30 months.

Justice secretary Kenny Mac-Askill refuses to acknowledge that his decision to release Megrahi early was a mistake, or that the clinical evidence his decision was based on was also incorrect. Nor has he ever apologised to the relatives of the Lockerbie bombing victims for his decision to release Megrahi prematurely.

The SNP government actively sought Nelson Mandela’s endorsement of its decision to release the Lockerbie bomber four years ago. We expect politicians to spin stories, but some narratives should be beyond spin.

Neil Sinclair

Clarence Street
Edinburgh

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