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Prisoner Release Decisions

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:35 am on 20th October 2009.

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Photo of John Robertson John Robertson Labour, Glasgow North West 11:35 am, 20th October 2009

I do not intend to make a long contribution-although it seems to get longer every time I write a note. First, I congratulate my hon. Friend Dr. Palmer on securing this important debate. Anybody who knows me knows that in all my time in Parliament and before that, I have always tried to voice my backing for the victim of any form of injury and for the family of any victim who is killed. I was sorry that Pete Wishart spent so long talking about the Megrahi case. Suffice it to say that I disagree with everything that he said. I feel that the 270 people who were killed on that day and their families deserve a bit more than somebody being released.

Part of the criteria-this applies on both sides of the border-is that the person who is released can receive better treatment somewhere else. I would argue that the treatment in Scotland would be a lot better than the treatment that Megrahi would receive in Libya. Therefore, under that criterion alone, he should not have been released. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the families in America and I can assure hon. Members that their feelings are completely different from those expressed by Mr. MacAskill when he made his decision.