The Guardian 21st July covered Cameron's visit. Cameron has referred to the release of al-Megrahi as a "mistake". Of course, al-Megrahi stands convicted of the murder of 270 people (259 on board the aeroplane and 11 on the ground). He was convicted at a trial held in Holland. Scots Law applied and he was tried by three judges alone (contrary to the usual Scottish system of a jury of 15 in "solemn proceedings") - see here. Doubts have lingered over his actual guilt but al-Megrahi abandoned an appeal just prior to his release on compassionate grounds. The Scottish High Court of Justiciary was in possession of a lengthy investigation into the case by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission - (see their news release about the reference to the court and see the views of Professor Robert Black QC). It is unclear whether the abandonment of the appeal and his release were connected. At the time, it was said that he could not be released, even on compassionate grounds, if any legal proceedings remained. Surely, if the release were truly "compassionate" then there ought not to be any link. [The questions surrounding the medical assessment of al-Megahi are discussed here].
The Scottish First Minister (Alex Salmond) has said that the release of al-Megrahi was not a cause for regret - see here. Another writer argues that the truth must be revealed - here.
Cameron is reported as having said of al-Megrahi - "He was convicted of the biggest mass murder in British history, in my view that man should have died in jail. Full stop. End of. Nothing to add to that. You don't release people who have been convicted of a crime that serious".
Is Cameron right? I am not so sure that we should abandon compassion even in cases this serious. As ever, your views are welcome.