Sunday 9th October
THE LOCKERBIE BOMBING: THE SEARCH FOR JUSTICE 2-3pm LIBRARY
Kenny MacAskill needs little introduction being a well known face around Portobello. As an SNP MSP, he represented this area from 1999-2016 and was Cabinet Secretary for Justice from 2007-2014. At this event he discusses his latest book, The Lockerbie Bombing: The Search for Justice, which details his decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, on compassionate grounds. He sets it in the context of the commercial and security interests that have overshadowed events in the decades both before and after.
Chair: Alastair Cameron
On 21 December 1988, Pan Am flight 103 departed London Heathrow for New York. Shortly after take-off, a bomb detonated, killing all aboard and devastating the small Scottish town of Lockerbie below. Only one man has ever been convicted of the crime: Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, though few believe that he acted alone.
In 2009, a request was made by Libya for al-Megrahi’s release from prison on compassionate grounds after he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The decision to grant or deny that request fell squarely and exclusively on the shoulders of one man: Kenny MacAskill, Scotland’s Justice Secretary from 2007 to 2014.
Detailing the build-up to the atrocity and the carnage left in its wake, MacAskill narrates the international investigation that followed and the diplomatic intrigue that saw a Scottish court convened in the Netherlands. He describes the controversial release of al-Megrahi, explains the international dimensions involved and lays bare the commercial and security interests that ran in the background throughout the investigation and trial.
Finally, he answers how and why it happened – and who was really responsible for the worst terrorist attack to have occurred on British soil before or since.