For some, the decision by Kenny MacAskill to free Megrahi will rankle for years to come. Critics pointed out how Megrahi spent less than 14 days in jail for each of the 270 victims of the bombing.
At one stage, the humiliating symbolism of the Scottish Saltire being flown at Tripoli airport as Saif al Islam, Colonel Gaddafi's son, met Megrahi off his flight to freedom looked as if it could spell the end for Mr MacAskill and the SNP administration.
In an exclusive interview with The Herald, Saif Gaddafi insisted the welcome was a spontaneous demonstration.
As the pictures flashed around the globe, the Justice Secretary stuck to his guns and Alex Salmond also staked his reputation on the release decision.
As strong criticism emanated from senior politicians in the US, Gordon Brown and his ministers – initially – kept to a Trappist vow about not commenting on the decision.
However, once the convicted terrorist was back in Tripoli, ministers in Whitehall began to air their views.
Way before the Libyan was diagnosed with cancer, the issue had been whether to include Megrahi in a Prisoner Transfer Agreement (PTA) with Colonel Gaddafi. At first, Megrahi was to be excluded at the request of Holyrood but then, out of the blue, Whitehall changed its mind and included him. The PTA, which was signed off by then prime minister Tony Blair in the now-infamous "deal in the desert", was all part of a package to draw Libya out of its international isolation after its decision to give up its programme of weapons of mass destruction in the wake of the Iraq war.
By sheer coincidence – or not – once the ink was dry, BP signed a £500 million oil deal with Libya. Yet the Government line was forcefully expounded by Mr Brown: "There was no conspiracy, no cover-up, no double-dealing, no deal on oil, no attempt to instruct Scottish ministers, no private assurances."
However, by the time Megrahi was back in Tripoli, Jack Straw, the then UK justice secretary, felt he was able to admit commercial as well as security interests lay behind the UK Government's change of mind on the PTA.
He, too, insisted no grubby deal was ever done as this was impossible given the final say-so had always rested with the Scottish Government.
"Libya was a rogue state," declared Mr Straw. "We wanted to bring it back into the fold. And, yes, that included trade, because trade is an essential part of it and subsequently there was the BP deal."
Of course, in the end, Mr MacAskill rejected any transfer under the PTA, but enabled the Libyan to return home on compassionate grounds.
Then Foreign Secretary David Miliband openly acknowledged British interests "would be damaged, perhaps badly" if Megrahi had been allowed to die behind Scottish bars. Believing this to be the Prime Minister's unspoken position, Schools Secretary Ed Balls later declared: "None of us wanted to see the release of Megrahi."
In the US, the Libyan's release caused heartache among victims' families and concern among politicians.
John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the UN, said: "I'm appalled by the Scottish Government's decision, but I'm more appalled by the British Government's apparent decision to see commercial advantage in having this mass murderer go free."
But, as the weeks passed, anger faded. Louis Susman, the US ambassador to London, described the row as "a little spat" and laughed off calls for a boycott of Scottish products.
A year after Megrahi's release, an attempt by senators in the US to hold an inquiry into his release fell into disarray after several witnesses, including Mr Salmond, Mr MacAskill and Mr Straw, declined to give evidence.
Although the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee did later hold a hearing, no representatives of the Scottish or UK governments attended. Senator Robert Menendez used the proceedings to accuse Scottish ministers of intervening in the medical diagnosis of Megrahi to make it appear he was close to death.
Mr Salmond later wrote to the committee's chairman saying the hearing had been misled about the medical treatment given to Megrahi, despite attempts to set the record straight in a letter to Mr Menendez before the hearing.
The Arab Spring of 2011 led to the domino effect reaching Libya and ultimately led to the fall of the Gaddafi regime and the death of the dictator. Megrahi was discovered in his Tripoli home, complaining he did not have his medication, with family members claiming he was near to death.
With Megrahi now gone, a key player in the Lockerbie saga has left the fold, leaving his family to grieve for him as the families of the victims of Pan Am Flight 103 have grieved for their dead.