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Decision Time

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 5:00 pm on 2nd September 2009.

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Photo of Alex Fergusson Alex Fergusson None 5:00 pm, 2nd September 2009

The result of the division is: For 73, Against 50, Abstentions 0.

Motion, as amended, agreed to,

That the Parliament notes the decisions by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice to reject the application by the Libyan Government to transfer Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi under the prisoner transfer agreement between the United Kingdom and Libya and to release Mr Al Megrahi on compassionate grounds; believes that the process of making this crucial decision was mishandled by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice; believes that it was wrong for the Cabinet Secretary for Justice to meet Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi in prison while considering his application for compassionate release to Libya and that this potentially sets an inappropriate precedent; also believes that it was unacceptable that the media was made aware of the decision a week before it was formally announced; does not accept that the Cabinet Secretary for Justice received or sought sufficient medical advice to make his judgement on Megrahi's prognosis; further believes that the Cabinet Secretary for Justice did not sufficiently explore options to take account of Megrahi's illness other than compassionate release to Libya, in particular the opportunities for compassionate release within Scotland; believes that the announcement should have been made to the Parliament rather than to a press conference; considers that justice and compassion for the victims' families have not been served by this process; recognises the ability of both the Scottish police and the NHS in Scotland on the basis of past performance to have supported the release of Mr Al Megrahi to an appropriate location and regrets that this was not adequately explored; recognises that Scotland's international reputation has been damaged not simply by the decision to release Megrahi on compassionate grounds to Libya but also because of the way that taking the decision was mishandled, and, given the mishandling of this process by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, does not agree with his decision to return Megrahi to Libya on compassionate release.