Thursday, 19 August 2010

Scots Stance on Libyan's Release

Scots back Government over US Megrahi claims

People in Scotland overwhelmingly support the position that the decision on the Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset Al Megrahi, who was released from prison on compassionate grounds, was made for the right reasons, that the Scottish Government were right to refuse requests to explain the decision to the US Senate, and that it was right that Scotland’s Justice Secretary made the decision according to a YouGov poll for the SNP.
The poll of 1,212 people, conducted on the 17th and 18th August shows:
•       72% of Scots agree that the Scottish Government is accountable to the Scottish Parliament, not US politicians, and was right to decline to attend the US Senate hearings.
•       only 14% agree with the US Senators that oil industry lobbying was played a part in the decision, a figure dwarfed by the 54% who believe that Al Megrahi was released solely in accordance with Scots law.
•       76% of those polled think it was right that the decision on Al Megrahi was made by the Scottish Government, and not the UK.
Welcoming the result SNP Depute Leader and Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“This poll demonstrates overwhelmingly that the people of Scotland believe that the Justice Secretary took the decision for the right reasons, that it was right for the Scottish Government and no one else to take the decision, and that it was right not to answer to a US Senate hearing on the issue.
“The Scottish Government is accountable to the Scottish Parliament and people, and their continued support for the Scottish Government in taking what was clearly a very difficult decision is important and extremely welcome.”
The details of the poll are:
1)      A US senate committee invited representatives of the Scottish government to appear before their committee to explain their decision. The Scottish government declined to attend, on the grounds that they are accountable to the Scottish Parliament, not to US politicians. Do you agree or disagree with Scottish Government’s decision not to attend?
Agree – they were right not to attend       72%
Disagree – they should have attended    20%
Don’t Know                           7%
2)      Some US Senators have argued that commercial lobbying of the UK Government by BP played a role in the release of Al-Megrahi, while the Scottish Government insists that the Scottish Government was not lobbied by BP and that the Scottish Justice Secretary’s decision to grant compassionate release to Al-Megrahi was based solely on the rules and regulations of Scots Law. Regardless of your own view on the decision, which of the following best reflects your view?
The US Senators are correct – BP Lobbying played a part in the release of Al-Megrahi   14%
The Scottish Government is correct – Al Megrahi was released solely in line with Scotland Law 54%
Neither 11%
Don’t Know 21%
3)Al-Megrahi was convicted in a Scottish Court and served his prison sentence in Scotland. Regardless of whether you think Al-Megrahi should or should not have been released, who do you think should have made the decision on whether or not to release him?
The Scottish Justice Secretary  76%
A Minister in the UK Government 13%
Don’t Know                      11%
Total sample size was 1,212 Scottish adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th - 18th August 2010.


Yet Iain Gray, the Labour leader in the Scottish parliament, said today on a television interview that Scots overwhelming oppose the release of Al-Megrahi and think he should have been kept in a Scottish prison.
Someone has got their facts wrong.... who could it be?

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