Senate to probe BP’s role in freeing Lockerbie bomber

By Reuters
Posted July 15, 2010 at 5:28 p.m.

TheĀ  Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a July 29 hearing into last year’s release of a Libyan convicted for the 1988 bombing of an airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, and related actions by BP.

The committee said Thursday that it will ask officials of BP Plc to testify after the U.K.-based oil giant acknowledged that it had lobbied the British government in 2007 to transfer Libyan intelligence officer Abdel Basset al-Megrahi to Tripoli. The company said it was concerned that his continued imprisonment in Scotland could hurt an offshore oil drilling deal with Libya.

“BP told the U.K. government that we were concerned about the slow progress that was being made in concluding a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya,” BP said in a statement.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry D-Mass.), who had opposed Megrahi’s release, said “details that have emerged in recent days in the press have raised new concerns.”

Megrahi, the only person convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie that killed 270, was released on medical grounds, which have come under question.

The Scottish government, which has broad legal powers under the U.K. political system, had been advised that he was likely to die within three months of advanced prostate cancer. But nearly a year later, he is living in Tripoli, the Libyan capital.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama are to meet Tuesday at the White House, but it was not known whether BP’s role in the release would be raised.

The Senate panel said it will ask “government experts” to testify but did not release details on witnesses it plans to invite.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she would look into a request by several senators that her agency investigate.

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One comment:

  1. dodi aguiar July 16, 2010 at 8:49 a.m.

    once again GREED takes over principle !! never mind the oil disaster i could go on all day about !! but now this !! all for oil !!! that S.O.B. should die in jail did those 270 people get a reprieve ??? no but bp does bp give a rats *** about the dead ??? thats a big NO !! i still stand by my decision to boycott bp and everything associated with it !!!!