Lockerbie report to be made public

THE First Minister has confirmed his intention to publish a confidential report that raises questions over the conviction of the Lockerbie bomber.

Alex Salmond said legislation would be brought forward early in the next Scottish Parliament to allow the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) to publish its statement of reasons for referring Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi's conviction back to the Court of Appeal in Edinburgh.

The appeal was ultimately dropped before justice secretary Kenny MacAskill's decision to release Megrahi on compassionate grounds almost two years ago, after a prognosis that he had terminal cancer and may have had only three months to live.

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Mr Salmond said yesterday: "I intend to publish in full the findings of the SCCRC. It hasn't been done to date because under the current law you have to have an agreement from all parties before you can publish the full statement. It hasn't been possible to secure the agreement from all parties and therefore the statement is in limbo.

"However, we believe we can change the law so that the matter can be published under the full discretion of the SCCRC, and that is what we intend to do."