Church of Scotland praises release of Lockerbie bomber 20/08/09

The Church of Scotland today praised the decision that meant Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was released today on compassionate grounds by Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill.

Reverend Ian Galloway, convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland, said: “This decision has sent a message to the world about what it is to be Scottish. We are defined as a nation by how we treat those who have chosen to hurt us. Do we choose mercy even when they did not chose mercy?

"This was not about whether one man was guilty or innocent. Nor is it about whether he had a right to mercy but whether we as a nation, despite the continuing pain of many, are willing to be merciful. I understand the deep anger and grief that still grips the souls of the victims’ families and I respect their views.

"But to them I would say justice is not lost in acting in mercy. Instead our deepest humanity is expressed for the better. To choose mercy is the tough choice and today our nation met that challenge

"We have gained something significant as a Nation by this decision. It is a defining moment for all of us”

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