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Paul Owen reports in the Guardian (London):

The Scottish government today lost an appeal to the UK supreme court in a case over human rights that could undermine the convictions of criminals questioned without a lawyer.

A ruling found such questioning was aimed at making it more likely that suspects in Scotland might "incriminate" themselves while being quizzed by police.

The defeat for Scottish ministers - which had been feared for months - has prompted concerns that it could lead to widespread appeals and some criminals walking free from jail.

The Scottish justice minister, Kenny MacAskill, said that in response, with Holyrood's support, he would be making "swift legislative changes to protect the victims of crime and safeguard communities".

Today's supreme court judgment states: "The ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights] requires that a person who has been detained by the police has the right to have access to a lawyer prior to being interviewed."

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Is this the same Scottish government that released the Lockerbie bomber because he was going to die in two months, three years ago?

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