More details of how the Scottish Government asked well-known figures such as Nelson Mandela to endorse the release of the Lockerbie bomber have been revealed.
Emails, released under freedom of information legislation, show that one of First Minister Alex Salmond's advisers emailed the former South African leader's office, as well as former Irish president Mary Robinson and Desmond Tutu asking them to consider issuing a public statement.
US businessman Donald Trump has already revealed that he was asked, but refused, to put his name to a prepared statement saying he was "certain" the release was made for good reasons.
The Government's requests came shortly after the controversial decision to grant compassionate release to Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in August 2009.
Megrahi, who had cancer, died in May this year. He was sentenced to life in prison for the bombing of a US airliner over the Scottish town in 1988, which claimed 270 lives.
A template email was sent to the offices of Mr Mandela and Archbishop Tutu, with personalised references to their involvement or interest in the case.
The email sent on August 26 2009 to the Nelson Mandela Foundation stated: "Given his ongoing close involvement in Mr Megrahi's case, it would be very helpful if Mr Mandela was able to issue a public statement outlining his views on the decision of the Scottish Justice Secretary to release Mr al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds."
Mr Mandela played a role in the handover of Megrahi to face trial in a special Scottish court in the Netherlands. The response said that Mr Mandela does not want to be involved in public issues any more but that he "sincerely appreciates" the decision to release Megrahi on compassionate grounds. The decision was "in line with his wishes", according to the email.
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "The Scottish Government was perfectly entitled to seek support at home and abroad for this decision which was supported by some, including some relatives of Lockerbie victims, and opposed by others."
Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said: "This correspondence highlights the sheer desperation of the SNP to win approval for a move it knew would be both unpopular and derided... Begging leading global figures for a ringing endorsement is at best embarrassing, at worst crude and insensitive. And when the Scottish Government did succeed in getting a positive quote from Desmond Tutu, it was sneered at."