Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Did MacAskill Lie???

The Times is reporting that Strathclyde Constabulary have come out all guns blasing and have contradicted Kenny MacAskill speech on Monday about al-Megrahi's release.

As a result Auntie Annabel has accused MacAskill of misleading Holyrood and the public yesterday after Scotland’s largest police force cast serious doubt on a key part of the Justice Secretary’s explanation for freeing the Lockerbie bomber to return to Libya.

The force contradicted the SNP Justice Secretary, who told the Scottish Parliament on Monday that he had ruled out keeping al-Megrahi in Scotland on the advice of senior officers who said that the security implications would be severe.

Instead he opted to allow al-Megrahi, who is suffering from terminal prostate cancer, to return home to Libya on compassionate grounds.

In a statement, a Strathclyde Police spokeswoman said: “If a decision had been made to release Mr al-Megrahi in Scotland, we would have provided whatever security was required.

“We were asked how many officers would be required to provide security and we provided that advice. All we are saying is that we were asked about the level of security which would be required for al-Megrahi, members of his family and the local community should he be released.

“We were asked how many [officers] it would take in our opinion. In terms of guidance we were not asked whether we could do this.”

On Monday, in a statement, Mr MacAskill told MSPs: “It had been suggested that Mr al-Megrahi could be released from prison to reside elsewhere in Scotland. Clear advice from the deputy chief constable of Strathclyde Police was that the security implications of such a move would be severe. A minimum of 48 officers would be required simply to allow Mr al-Megrahi to live in Scotland. I therefore ruled that out as an option.”

The development was seized on by opposition parties who accused Mr MacAskill of misleading the Scottish Parliament and the public.

Miss Goldie said that the Justice Secretary’s statement was “unfair to the police, misleading to the public and a lame excuse for sending Mr al-Megrahi back to a hero’s welcome in Libya. It is clear that the Scottish government only paid lip service to investigating whether Mr al-Megrahi could be kept here.”

I think this is going to be my last post on this subject. It has gone on too long and al-Megrahi is in Lybia. That is a fact and nothing ANY nation say will bring him back. I feel a bit for MacAskill on this subject and Auntie Annabel is not really thinking before speaking. In a nut shell if the Police said we need XXX amount of officers and equipment - MacAskill then looked at that and felt.....nope too much money for the tax payer then he actually IMHO made the right call!!!

UPDATE Last night after the Scottish government contacted Strathclyde Police, the force issued a second statement denying that there had been any difference of position between itself and the Justice Secretary. HHHHMMMMMMMMMMM!!!

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