Former Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill’s book has incidentally revealed that Alex Salmond lied directly to the public on the nature of the inter-governmental negotiations over the consequences of the inclusion of Ali Al Megrahi in the Prisoner Transfer Agreement that was quietly included in Tony Blair’s infamous 2007 ‘deal in the desert’ with the then Libyan dictator, Colonel Muammar Ghaddafi.
In his book, The Lockerbie Bombing: the Search for Justice, Mr MacAskill reveals that the Scottish Government actually asked the UK government for specific ‘concessions for Scotland’ in return for agreeing that the convicted Libyan, the so-called ‘Lockerbie bomber’, Ali Al Megrahi, held in prison in Greenock, could be included in this ‘Prisoner Transfer Agreement’. [In the wake of this ‘deal in the desert’ agreement the UK got access concessions for UK oil companies to £13 billion worth of Libyan oil assets.]
Back in 2011, former UK Foreign Secretary, the serially slippery Jack Straw, made it public that there had been talks with the SNP Scottish Government about ‘concessions’ in return for permitting Al Megrahi to be returned to Libya.
Then Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, flatly denied the Straw statement, calling it, in typically flamboyant and typically deceptive rhetoric, ‘balderdash’.
Jack Straw described this denial as evidence that Mr Salmond was suffering from amnesia – a condition from which Mr Straw himself was never immune.
Straw was the Foreign Secretary who declared that he had no knowledge whatsoever of USA ‘extraordinary rendition’ torture flights transitioning through the UK airspace airports [Prestwick] and bases – with it being shown later that he did indeed have such knowledge – and indeed complicity.
MacAskill’s first hand account of the Salmond-led 2007 SNP government’s dealings with the UK Government on the Megrahi transfer issue, leaves Mr Salmond with some more transparently decoying bluster to be delivered. This effort-to-come might well also be described as ‘balderdash’ – which is ‘nonsense’.
The ‘negotiations’ – which interestingly saw the rookie negotiators gaining no ‘concessions for Scotland’- ended with the Libyan released fully by Mr MacAskill on compassionate grounds since he had been diagnosed as suffering from terminal cancer.