MacAskill's brother embroiled in Lockerbie row

Scotland's Justice Secretary today faced fresh questions over his decision to free the Lockerbie bomber after it was revealed he had past family links to the oil industry.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Kenny MacAskill's brother Allan has a background in the oil industry.



The decision to free Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi on compassionate grounds proved fiercely controversial.



Prime Minister Gordon Brown has insisted the decision was one for the Scottish Government alone, and that considerations like trade and oil deals played no part in it.



Today it was revealed, Mr MacAskill's brother worked for oil giant BP for 20 years before joining Talisman Energy and now works for SeaEnergy, an Aberdeen-based wind energy firm, the newspaper said.



Scots Tory leader Annabel Goldie said: "Time and time again new revelations are emerging about the release of Mr Al Megrahi.



"The SNP Government has consistently mishandled the whole issue and has been found wanting on the international stage.



"If any part of Mr Salmond's Government has any connections to Libyan businesses then they need to come clean."



And she said: "The Labour UK Government and the SNP Scottish Government need to be open and transparent once and for all and stop this constant drip, drip of information which only serves to undermine Scotland and the United Kingdom."



But a spokesman for Mr MacAskill said: "The Tory claims are ridiculous, confused and entirely without foundation.



"Mr MacAskill's brother is director of an offshore wind development company in Scotland, based in Aberdeen."



The spokesman went on: "As the Justice Secretary has made clear, he made his decisions to reject prisoner transfer and grant compassionate release based on due process according to Scots law - having considered the recommendations from the Scottish Prison Service, the prison governor and the parole board, and the medical evidence, all of which supported compassionate release."



Mr MacAskill's brother is business development director for SeaEnergy Renewables.



His biography on the company website said: "Allan MacAskill has a track record of technical and commercial innovation in both the oil and gas and renewables industries.



"In the last 10 years he has been involved with a number of mature reservoir redevelopments with proven expertise in project management, field development, reservoir management, production operations and renewable energy."



The Wall Street Journal said no connection had been revealed between Mr MacAskill and commercial factors that may have led to the release of Megrahi.



Allan MacAskill told the newspaper that neither he nor his firm were in any way connected to the decision.



A spokeswoman for SeaEnergy said Allan MacAskill joined that firm 18 months ago.



He had previously worked for Talisman, where he had been involved in the Beatrice offshore wind project.



"Allan has been exclusively focused on renewable energy since 2005," she said.



"I can confirm he has never had a conversation with Kenny MacAskill about Al Megrahi.



"He works for an offshore renewables company which is doing well."



Today, representatives of victims of IRA terrorism held their first meeting with officials from the Foreign Office and Downing Street since Prime Minister Gordon Brown's weekend offer of support in their battle for compensation from Libya.



The victims' lawyers, Jason McCue and Lord Brennan QC, met officials including one of Mr Brown's private secretaries for the 45-minute meeting at 10 Downing Street.



People injured by IRA bombs and families of those killed are seeking compensation from Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi because of his supply of weapons including Semtex explosives to the terrorist group.



They hope to travel to Libya within a fortnight to press their claim. Mr Brown has promised that they will be accompanied by a diplomat from the UK Embassy in Tripoli and they will also have the support of a dedicated Foreign Office team.



Mr Brown's spokesman characterised this morning's meeting as "positive", adding: "It focused on the support the Foreign Office will be providing to the families, agreeing objectives and setting out the next steps on co-ordination."





Following the Downing Street meeting, Mr McCue said: "The meeting was extremely positive and productive. There was a clear and genuine commitment from all at the meeting to represent the interests of the victims to maximise a positive outcome for them.



"Tasks were delegated and Government specialists were given strategic roles to assist and support the victims' team that would be carrying out the negotiations. Planning and preparation was put in motion to ensure matters progressed swiftly and effectively.



"The team along with its Government counterparts will work to pursue justice for those who suffered these human tragedies to ensure that Anglo-Libyan relations can then have a truly firm and positive foundation for the future."

Suggested Topics
News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
News
peopleLynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance moves audience to tears
Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree is to be made into a series of films
film

Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree really is being made into a film

Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Teacher

£22000 - £32000 per annum + TLR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our client is...

Database Administrator

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...

Science Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...

Deputy Head of Science

£22000 - £36000 per annum + MPR / UPR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our cli...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London