Scotland's Justice Secretary allegedly sent a message to the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing that he should drop his appeal against conviction to smooth the way for his compassionate release.
The allegations - denied by the Scottish Government - are contained in a new book released today entitled Megrahi: You Are My Jury, in which Abdelbaset al-Megrahi claims he was "the innocent victim of dirty politics, a flawed investigation and judicial folly".
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced that Megrahi would be released on "compassionate grounds" on August 20, 2009.
Shortly before this announcement, Megrahi dropped the appeal against his conviction even though he was under no legal compulsion to do so.
The book states that Mr MacAskill met a delegation of Libyan officials 10 days before announcing his decision, including foreign minister Abdulati al-Obedi.
In the book, Megrahi claimed: "After the meeting, the Libyan delegation came to the prison to visit me.
"Obedi said that, towards the end of the meeting, MacAskill had asked to speak to him in private.
"Once the others had withdrawn, he stated that MacAskill gave him to understand that it would be easier to grant compassionate release if I dropped my appeal.
"He said he was not demanding that I do so, but the message seemed to me clear.
"I was legally entitled to continue the appeal, but I could not risk doing so. It meant abandoning my quest for justice."
The book's author John Ashton, who spent three years as a researcher with Megrahi's legal team, also recounts a report in The Herald newspaper four days before the meeting citing "a growing expectation he (Megrahi) would be encouraged to first drop legal proceedings".
Mr Ashton stated: "The source of this information was not stated, but it seems likely that it was someone within the justice department."
However, a spokesman for Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond denied the allegation today.
The spokesman said: "The Justice Secretary has not had a meeting with any party to this issue in the absence of officials. So there has been no such meeting."
He said the Scottish Government had "no conceivable" interest in Megrahi not pursuing his appeal, adding: "The basis of the story is wrong."
The book has provoked a backlash from Downing Street, with a spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron today describing it as "an insult".
He said: "This is yet another reminder that Alex Salmond's government's decision to free the UK's greatest mass murderer was wrong.
"Writing a book three years after he was released is an insult to the families of the 270 people who were murdered."
However, speaking at the launch of the book in Edinburgh this morning, Mr Ashton described these comments as "outrageous".
He said: "The Prime Minister knows nothing about this case. He should read the book, and if he read the book he would know that this conviction was not safe.
"I think it is pretty outrageous that he would comment on something that he knows nothing about."