Feb 28 2012
Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill is to make a statement to Holyrood in the wake of claims he advised the Lockerbie bomber to drop his appeal to smooth the way for his release.
The allegations - strongly denied by the Scottish Government - are contained in a new book about the bomber which was published on Monday.
In the wake of the allegations, Mr MacAskill, who controversially freed Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in August 2009 on compassionate grounds, faced calls from opposition politicians to make a statement to Holyrood.
He will now do that, and answer questions from MSPs on the matter, on Wednesday.
A spokesman for the Scottish Government categorically denied that it "had any involvement of any kind in Mr Al-Megrahi dropping his appeal".
The spokesman insisted that had been "entirely a matter for Mr Al-Megrahi and his legal team".
He also branded the book Megrahi: You Are My Jury, by writer, researcher and TV producer John Ashton, as being "third-hand hearsay".
Mr MacAskill decided to free the Libyan - the only person convicted of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 in December 1988 which killed 270 people - on compassionate grounds.
Shortly before being freed, Megrahi had dropped his second appeal against his conviction.
Mr Ashton, who studied the Lockerbie case for 18 years and spent three years as a researcher with the bomber's legal team, said: "Mr Megrahi makes clear in the book that it was made clear to him by the Libyan official who met with Mr MacAskill that it would help his case for compassionate release if he dropped his appeal."