(Daily Telegraph)Ministers secretly advised Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan regime how to secure the successful early release of the Lockerbie bomber, documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph have disclosed.

A Foreign Office minister sent Libyan officials detailed legal advice on how to use Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s cancer diagnosis to ensure he was released from a Scottish prison on compassionate grounds.

The Duke of York is also said to have played a behind-the-scenes role in encouraging the terrorist’s release.

The Libyans closely followed the advice which led to the controversial release of Megrahi — who was convicted of the murder of 270 passengers on Pan Am Flight 103 — within months of the Foreign Office’s secret intervention.

The disclosure seriously undermines British Government claims that is was not complicit in the release of al-Megrahi, and that the decision to free the convicted terrorist was taken by the Scottish Executive alone.

It will also lead to renewed pressure from senior American politicians on David Cameron to release all internal documents detailing Britain’s role in the scandal. Last summer, the Prime Minister pledged to release the relevant information — but the publication has yet to occur sparking fears that a cover-up may have been ordered.

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