Lawyer and politician;

Born: May 29, 1945; Died: June 22, 2013.

Peter Lovat Fraser, Baron Fraser of Carmyllie, who has died suddenly aged 68, was a former Queen's Counsel, MP for Angus, a Tory Government Minister and Scotland's sometimes controversial chief law officer, appointed by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

As Lord Advocate for Scotland he was in charge of the biggest criminal investigation in Scottish history, into the 1988 Lockerbie PanAm bombing, during which he indicted two Libyan suspects for the murder of 270 people. He was named Lord Advocate and a life peer two months after the bombing, taking the title Baron Fraser of Carmyllie after the rural parish west of Arbroath where he lived.

Later, in 2003, he led the public inquiry into the handling of the Scottish Parliament building project, notably its spiralling costs, expressing his frustration that no-one would own up to being responsible. He famously proclaimed: "The ancient walls of the Canongate echoed only to the cry of, 'It wisnae me!'"

Descended from the chiefs of the Fraser clan, Peter Lovat Fraser was born in Luanshya, Zambia, on May 29, 1945, three weeks after the end of the war in Europe in which many of his clansmen and his father's relatives had fought, including the legendary D-Day commando leader Lord Lovat (Simon Fraser). His father, the Rev George Robson Fraser, from Morningside, Edinburgh, was in Zambia as a Church of Scotland minister and missionary along with his wife Helen (née Meiklejohn).

After both his mother and father died before he had even reached his teens, a family friend and Tory politician Brendan Bracken (later to be Viscount Bracken, founder of the modern Financial Times), along with British Prime Minister Anthony Eden, helped get the orphan a place at Scotland's oldest boarding school, Loretto School in Musselburgh, near Edinburgh.

He graduated BA (Hons) and LL.M (Hons) from Cambridge (Gonville & Caius College), before returning north to the University of Edinburgh. Called to the Scottish Bar in 1969, he spent two years lecturing part-time on constitutional law at Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University during the 1970s.

In 1979, he was appointed Standing Junior Counsel for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the same year was elected Conservative MP for Angus, remaining in the House of Commons until 1987, when he lost his seat to the SNP, and serving as Parliamentary Private Secretary to George Younger, Secretary of State for Scotland.

He became a Queen's Counsel in 1982 and was appointed Solicitor-General for Scotland that same year by Mrs Thatcher, who went on to name him Lord Advocate, Scotland's chief legal officer and public prosecutor, in 1989, as well as a life peer and member of the Privy Council.

During the Lockerbie investigation, he upset many, including Dr Jim Swire, father of one of the victims, after accusing Dr Swire of suffering from Stockholm syndrome through his relentless campaign to find out the truth behind the bombing.

During the 1990s he was Minister of State at the Scottish Office (covering home affairs and health) and Minister of State at the Department of Energy (responsible for export promotion and overseas investment, notably focusing on oil and gas). In 1995 he was named Minister of State for Trade and Industry by Prime Minister John Major. He later represented the UK at both the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and served as one of current Prime Minister David Cameron's commissioners to review the European Court of Human Rights and report on a possible British Bill of Rights.

In June 2003 he was invited by the First Minister of the Scottish Executive to head an inquiry into the costly over-run of the new Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. Breaking new ground, all the proceedings were allowed to be televised and all documentation before the inquiry (except for limited security matters) was published on the official inquiry website.

In 2006 Lord Fraser hit the headlines for the wrong reasons. He was arrested at Dundee Airport, reportedly under the influence of alcohol, after allegedly "acting in a disruptive manner" on board a ScotAirways flight from London City airport. Charges were later dropped when there was deemed to be insufficient evidence.

He was an Honorary Bencher at Lincoln's Inn and an honorary visiting professor of law at the University of Dundee. He was also a remunerated or non-executive director of several companies, mostly in the field of oil and gas. He served as chairman of both the Anglo-Azeri Society and the British-Kazakh Society, which promotes relations between the UK and Kazakhstan, and was a patron of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

After his sudden death at home on Saturday, his wife Lady Fiona said: "Earlier this year Lord Fraser launched a campaign to commemorate the Polish war hero General Stanisław Maczek by erecting a memorial to him in Edinburgh. The general played a crucial role in the Normandy campaign but was exiled after the Communist takeover of his country and spent his final years in the city's Marchmont district.

"Lord Fraser had spearheaded a drive to see the general immortalised in a brass memorial to be sited on Bruntsfield Links."

Lord Fraser died at his home, Slade House, in Carmyllie.

He is survived by his wife Fiona (Baroness Fraser, née Macdonald Mair whom he married in 1969), son Jamie, daughters Jane and Catriona (Katie) and seven grandchildren.