I listened to Kenny macAskill’s statement today on the release of Megrahi. I found him more impressive in audio than on video – but was a little dismayed at the repetition of answers (I think I picked up that it was his decision) and questions, and not particularly impressed with the political posturing around the decision. I was a little concerned that not all of the questions asked were addressed, and note that the media is finally catching on to the personal meeting with Megrahi being a bit odd (Brian Taylor in his blog, Alan Cochrane in a Radio Scotland interview &c) finally noting that there was no need to meet megrahi in person. I will avoid commenting in detail on Mr MacAskill’s response to the questions on the reasons for this meeting and what was discussed until the Official report is published (there seems little point in subjecting to scrutiny my scribbled notes on the meeting) but I note only one oddity.
Mr MacAskill indicated that when me Megrahi requested the right to make representations in person in relation to prisoner transfer he felt legally bound to attend (despite the extant application on compassionate release where no personal representations were permissible and which was to be decided by him contemporaneously – but, of course no-one raised that point). His argument was that Megrahi was representing himself here. However, mr Megrahi’s lawyers were present throughout the meeting between the two (according to Mr MacAskill’s answers today). Why? Ordinarily if you are representing yourself you don’t use lawyers in that matter. If the lawyers were present why were they not competent to make representations on Megrahi’s behalf?
I will return to this when the official report is published – but today saw political posturing on the substantive decision. the procedure that led to that decision must be explored further. And Mr MacAskill cannot avoid answering what he said and what megrahi said in that meeting forever.