A campaign to free the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing will be launched today.
The "Justice for Megrahi" campaign will seek to generate support for the release of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi from prison on grounds of compassion.
The 56-year-old, who was convicted in 2001 of the bombing of Pan Am 103, which killed 259 passengers and crew, and 11 residents of Lockerbie, on 21 December 1988, was diagnosed with "advanced state" prostate cancer in September.
A bid by his lawyers to release the Libyan on bail pending an appeal hearing was rejected by judges last month.
Robert Black, a professor of law at Edinburgh University who was instrumental in setting up Megrahi's trial under Scots Law at a specially-constructed court in the Netherlands, and Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter, Flora, died in the bombing, are among those behind the new campaign.
[From today's edition of The Scotsman. Scottish lawyers' magazine The Firm covers the launch of the campaign here. The magazine's editor, Steven Raeburn, has this to say:
"There is one problem that requires moral conscience, not resources, to tackle. Not only does Scotland imprison children to a disproportionate degree, we have also this month condemned a man -who has been officially adjudged to be the possible victim of a miscarriage of justice- to rot in a foreign jail until he dies. A literal death sentence.
"Hopefully compassion and morality are not being sacrificed on the altar of vengeance, or worse, to defer something as inconsequential as shame and embarrassment. It is in our own control to act with more nobility than this."
The campaign's website, which at present consists of little more than a statement of the campaign's aims and objectives and a list of committee members, is to be found at http://www.justiceformegrahi.com.]