MILIBAND MUST EXPLAIN EXTRAORDINARY MEGRAHI U-TURN

ROBERTSON WRITES TO MILIBAND AFTER RAISING CONCERNS IN PARLIAMENT

As the Prime Minister confirmed that he will consult former Labour cabinet ministers on the release of the papers related to the Prisoner Transfer Agreement negotiated by the governments of the UK and Libya, the former Foreign Secretary and Labour leadership contender, David Miliband, faces questions over his u-turn on the release of Mr
Al-Megrahi.

In October 2009, speaking in parliament, Mr Miliband said: “although the decision was not one for the UK government, British interests, including those of UK nationals, British businesses and possibly security co-operation would be damaged… if Megrahi were to die in a Scottish prison.”

Yesterday, Mr Miliband had dramatically changed his view, saying: “It was clearly wrong because it was done on the asis he had less than three months to live and it’s now 11 months on.”

SNP Westminster leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Angus Robertson MP, who has written to David Miliband over the matter, and raised a Point of Order in the Commons, said:

“Last October David Miliband supported the decision because he believed it was good for British interests – now he appears to be against it for reasons of self-interest as he bids to lead the Labour party.

“Given that David Miliband when Foreign Secretary did not want Megrahi to die in a Scottish prison – but now opposes the compassionate release decision – presumably he thinks that Megrahi should have been released under the totally tainted PTA process. David Miliband’s position is ridiculous, hypocritical, and raises a whole series of questions about his conduct and motivation, both in government and opposition.

“Thankfully, the Scottish Government rejected the PTA, and took a clear decision to grant compassionate release  based solely on the rules and the criteria, and none of the other factors that clearly motivated the UK Government and David Miliband.

“David Miliband needs to explain his tawdry u-turn, and reveal his full involvement in the PTA deal negotiated by his government and Libya. He was Foreign Secretary right through the PTA ratification process.

“The UK Government must now release all papers relating both to the negotiation of the Prisoner Transfer Agreement between the UK and Libya, and the concurrent commercial contract between BP and the government of Libya.

“The Scottish Government has published all the relevant material it holds – and it is now time for the UK Government to release all the information on the Prisoner Transfer Agreement, the deal in the desert and the negotiations between Tony Blair’s Government and Colonel Gaddafi’s regime.

“The Scottish Government strongly opposed the PTA negotiated between the UK and Libyan Governments – and the Justice Secretary rejected the application from Libya under the PTA specifically on the basis that the US Government and families of victims in the States had been led to believe that such a prisoner transfer would not be possible for
anyone convicted of the Lockerbie atrocity.”

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