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Al-Megrahi Death: Justice Secretary MacAskill Says Release 'Right Decision For Right Reason'

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The Lockerbie bombing killed 270 people in Scotland in 1988 | AP

Scotland's Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has defended his decision to release the Lockerbie bomber almost three years ago as the only man convicted of the tragedy is buried in Libya on Monday.

Kenny MacAskill said he had made the "right decision for the right reasons" as he gave his reaction to the death of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi.

Former Libyan intelligence officer Megrahi was sentenced to life in prison for the 1988 bombing of a US airliner over the Dumfries and Galloway town of Lockerbie, claiming 270 lives.

He was later diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer and controversially released from prison in August 2009, with an estimated three months to live, on compassionate grounds.

But Megrahi, who always proclaimed his innocence, proved medical experts wrong and finally died in Tripoli on Sunday at the age of 60, his son said.

Mr MacAskill, who was tasked with making the decision on Megrahi's release, said: "I said at the time that it was a privilege to hold the position of Justice Secretary in the Scottish Government.

"I did so without fear or favour, I did so following the rules and laws that we have in Scotland, based upon the evidence provided.

"It was the right decision for the right reasons."

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