First Minister Alex Salmond today refused to say if the Scottish government would give a sympathetic hearing to pleas made on behalf of the Lockerbie bomber.
There have been calls for Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi to be freed, or for his appeal to be speeded up, after it emerged he was battling advanced cancer.
But Mr Salmond today said any questions were “hypothetical” as no application had so far been made on behalf of the former Libyan intelligence agent.
Al Megrahi, who is 56, is serving a life term in Greenock prison with a minimum 27 years for the bombing.
After the disclosure yesterday that he has prostate cancer which has spread to other parts of this body, there were calls for a pending appeal to be speeded up.
The possibility of a transfer back to Libya has also been raised.
Campaigning in the Glenrothes by-election, Mr Salmond said the Scottish government never commented on the medical condition of any prisoner.
“I note that Mr Megrahi’s legal team have asked for privacy on that matter,” he said.
“And secondly, there’s no application for prisoner transfer or anything else before the Scottish government, therefore there’s no consideration being given to it because there’s no application.”
He said he would not answer hypothetical questions, saying: “One thing you could never do under any circumstances is prejudge how you would treat any such application – if indeed one arrived.
“As far as the medical condition of any prisoner in Scotland is concerned, we don’t discuss it – that’s a matter for them and their medical advisers.”