No Scottish “court” made any decision to release Megrahi. It was a matter for the Scottish justice secretary and him alone. The senators, in demanding that the State Department “pressure London,” seem unable to grasp that while Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, the independence of the Scottish legal system was guaranteed by the Act of Union in 1707. And since the Lockerbie affair was a matter for Scots law, the State Department or BP could no more influence Scottish decisions by lobbying London than they could by petitioning Timbuktu or MontevideoNothing which can be disputed with there and as David Cameron pointed out on Tuesday, the SNP “... took it (the decision) after proper process and what they saw as the right, compassionate reasons”.
The fact that US Senators, with more researchers and political assistants than they probably know what to do with, apparently remain blissfully unaware of the constitutional and legal background of a case they've waded knee-length into, says much more about the weakness of their own political system than the advisability or otherwise of the original decision.
There is a strong argument emerging for an independent UK inquiry into the handling of the case but until the US Senators pay the UK (and the SNP administration)the courtesy of actually doing their homework into how our political and legal systems operate, then MacAskill is quite right to tell them what to do with their hearing.