'No deal' over Lockerbie bomber
Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi was jailed
A spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair said no deal had been signed over the future of al-Megrahi.
The Libyan is serving life for killing 270 people in the 1988 Pan Am bombing.
convicted in 2001 of blowing up Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of
This government is determined that decisions on any
individual case will continue to be made following the due process of Scots
tried under Scottish law at a specially convened court at
memorandum of understanding with
It states that the two sides will shortly "commence negotiations" on prisoner transfer, extradition and mutual assistance in criminal law, with a final deal signed within 12 months.
It will be based on a "model agreement" that, according to the document, has already been hammered out.
Mr Salmond had demanded clarification from the UK Government about al-Megrahi's case and made an emergency statement at Holyrood on Thursday.
He said that "at no stage" was the Scottish government made aware of the memorandum, despite the deal being struck on 29 May.
MSPs, he said: "I have today written to the
prime minister expressing my concern that it was felt appropriate for the
first minister reminded politicians that al-Megrahi's
case was being reviewed by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission, which
could send his case back to appeal judges in
Prosecutors have called for a longer sentence, while al-Megrahi's team have been seeking a reduction.
added that while the Scottish Executive supported the UK Government's desire
for better relations with
"This government is determined that decisions on any individual case will continue to be made following the due process of Scots law," the first minister said.
"Given that, it is totally wrong to suggest the we have reached any agreement with the Libyan Government in this case.
"The memorandum of understanding agreed with the Libyan Government last week does not cover this case."
A spokesman for the prime minister said a deal covering Libyan prisoner exchange was reached between Mr Blair and the Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi.
Lack of consultation
asked if after the legal review al-Megrahi could be
returned to serve his sentence in
Labour leader Jack McConnell said: "As former first minister I would have expected and demanded no less than prior consultation on such a memorandum.
"Scottish ministers, as far as I understand the letter of the law, have an absolute veto over prison transfers. I want to know if this memorandum contradicts that in any way."
However, he went on to criticise Mr Salmond for not telling MSPs sooner.
The only way that Megrahi can
prove his innocence is through the Scottish legal system
Mr Salmond told him he became aware of the memorandum on Friday, discussed it at the Scottish Cabinet meeting on Tuesday and then consulted the lord advocate on Wednesday.
Tory leader Annabel Goldie said: "Tony Blair has quite simply ridden roughshod
over devolution and treated with contempt
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said: "The government's ineptitude in handling this matter has given Mr Salmond precisely what he wanted.
"The issue is not large in itself but it has played right in Mr Salmond's hands."
Former Labour MP Tam Dalyell, who has believed throughout in al-Megrahi's innocence, said: "The prime minister may think he can draw a line under all this.
"Surprisingly I am sympathetic to Mr Salmond. The only way that Megrahi can prove his innocence is through the Scottish legal system."
Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the bombing and
who speaks for other British victims, said
Referring to the document, he said: "Incredibly it seems that we are being asked to believe that this concerns other Libyan nationals, but not Megrahi.
"No mention of any discussion was given to us, the Lockerbie relatives.
"Mr Salmond should indeed remain
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