Police ruled out releasing the dying Lockerbie bomber to his home near Glasgow – because his neighbour was ex-Scotland star turned Sky Sports pundit Charlie Nicholas.
One option was to allow Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi to receive care at his family’s five-bed detached house in Newton Mearns after his terminal cancer diagnosis.
But former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has revealed this was ruled out because police feared Sky News would set up camp up in Nicholas’ front garden.
Former Celtic, Arsenal and Aberdeen star Nicholas is a regular pundit on Sky Sports and used to live on the same street as Megrahi’s wife, Aisha, and the couple’s five children.
MacAskill explained that in 2009, before he decided to free al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds, “contact was made with the police regarding Megrahi’s possible release to his home in Newton Mearns”.
“In an informal chat with a senior officer, he had expressed significant concern that one of the very near neighbours was a major sports commentator for Sky Sports.
“His fear was that Sky News would simply decamp into the adjacent garden for minute-by-minute coverage, and he was probably right.”
Mr Nicholas could not be reached for comment.