Scotland Declines to Attend US Lockerbie Hearing

LONDON (AP) - The Scottish government is declining a request from U.S. senators that Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill appear at a hearing in Washington on the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

The Scottish government said Thursday it had formally turned down the request from the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, wrote to First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond inviting MacAskill to attend the hearing next Thursday.

He said the invitation was to help the U.S. senators understand better why Scotland decided to free Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi last year and send him home to Libya.

MacAskill has said he stands by his decision to allow al-Megrahi's release.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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