In an impromptu Press Conference this afternoon, an indignant Alex Salmond denied requesting Libya to immediately return Lockerbie bomber Al-Megrahi to Scottish custody for any other reason than that of 'moral justice'.
When asked whether breaking reports from a Tripoli Hospital that Mr. Megrahi has now begun producing large volumes of premium grade oil from the drain in his prostate had any bearing on Salmond's sudden demand, the red-faced First Minister of Scotland burst into a torrent of West Lothian invective.
'That has nothing to do with it. Last year we made the decision to release him on compassionate grounds in good faith and now, in the same spirit, we demand his return. No other considerations have entered our minds. He is the property of Scotland and we demand his return.'
'Gusher'. Derrick Megrahi in Tripoli today...
However, before he left for an unscheduled meeting with former BP CEO Tony Hayward, presuming the microphones to be switched off, Mr. Salmond was heard to remark to an aide 'Now that the ****ing Sassenachs have ****ing bled us ****ing dry of our North Sea birthright, this Arab numpty's a ****ing god-send. The Tripoli quack said he's got another 20 years at least. The b*****d's a positive goldmine!'
The Tripoli hospital today issued this terse statement: 'Mr. Al-Megrahi, or Derrick, as he prefers to be called, is a well as can be expected.' A hospital official later denied there had been a spelling error in the press statement.
A wry observer commented, 'It looks like the 'War of Megrahi's Prostate' is set to burst'.