Salmond defends Megrahi release

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has defended the decision to let the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi return to Libya.

Mr Salmond told the SNP annual conference in Inverness that Scotland's Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, made "the right decision for the right reasons" in granting compassionate early release to al-Megrahi, who has terminal prostate cancer.

Mr Salmond had spoken to Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, durng his recent visit to Scotland and had concluded: "Sometimes, someone has to break the cycle of retribution with an act of compassion. That is what Kenny MacAskill did."

Labour spokesman Richard Baker said: "I am staggered anyone would mention Kenny MacAskill in the same sentence as Mahatma Gandhi."

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