First Minister Alex Salmond today commented on the latest developments in Libya relating to Abdelbaset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

The FM said:

"The criminal justice social work department of East Renfrewshire Council made contact with Mr al-Megrahi's family at the weekend, and there is no evidence he has breached his licence conditions, despite ill-informed and misguided speculation to the contrary.

"The latest pictures broadcast of Mr al-Megrahi clearly demonstrate that he is an extremely sick man, dying of terminal prostate cancer. Hopefully, this will end the ridiculous conspiracy theories that seek to claim anything else.

"Mr al-Megrahi remains under Scottish jurisdiction, and the only people with any legal entitlement to call for his return to Scotland are the Scottish Government. We have never had - and do not have - any intention of asking for the extradition of Mr al-Megrahi, because he has conformed to his licence conditions. The only other people with any legitimate say in the matter are the members of the National Transitional Council as the duly constituted legal authority in Libya, and they have already made it clear that any request for extradition would have been rejected.

"The decision to release Mr al-Megrahi has been examined over the past two years by the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee, the US Senate and the UK Cabinet Secretary. What has been proven in every enquiry is that the Scottish Government - almost alone among people acting in this - always acted in good faith and according to the due process of law."

Earlier the Scottish Government and East Renfrewshire Council issued a joint statement:

"Over the course of the weekend, there has been contact through Mr Al-Megrahi's family. There was no evidence of a breach of his licence conditions, and his medical condition is consistent with someone suffering from terminal prostate cancer.

"Speculation about Al Megrahi in recent days has been unhelpful, unnecessary and indeed ill-informed. As has always been said, Al Megrahi is dying of a terminal disease, and matters regarding his medical condition should really be left there.

"It is in no-one's interest for there to be a running commentary on either Mr Al-Megrahi's medical condition or location, and we have no intention of providing one. Any change in Al-Megrahi's circumstances would be a matter for discussion with the National Transitional Council as the legitimate governing authority in Libya."