Revelations by former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill about the decision to release the only man ever tried over the Lockerbie bombing, should trigger a fresh appeal challenging his conviction, according to lawyer Aamer Anwar.

Mr Anwar, who applied to the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission for a review of the case in 2014, acting on behalf of some of the relatives of those killed in the terrorist attack, said only an appeal could restore the credibility of Scottish justice.

A previous attempted appeal was abandoned in 2009 after Abdelbaset Ali Al-Megrahi was diagnosed with cancer, and the Libyan was subsequently released on compassionate grounds.

Loading article content

However Mr Anwar claimed that a forthcoming book on the case by Mr MacAskill had revealed that prior plans for a prisoner transfer agreement between the UK and Libya had been part of a larger scheme to secure £13 billion in oil deals and £350m of defence contracts.

Mr MacAskill says the Scottish Government opposed any prisoner transfer agreement that involved Mr Al-Megrahi, despite pressure from then Home Secretary Jack Straw.

Mr Anwar claimed Mr Al-Megrahi had also faced pressure, leading him to believe he would not be released if he went ahead with his appeal.

He said:"The case of Al-Megrahi has been described as the worst miscarriage of justice in British legal history. a reversal of the verdict would have meant that the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom ... imprisoned a man they knew to be innocent for ten years.

"Sadly once again the reputation of the Scottish criminal justice system has been damaged both at home and internationally. The truth will only ever be exposed by allowing the Appeal Court to consider a fresh appeal challenging the original verdicts."

Mr MacAskill was not available for comment.