Senator Wants to Know if BP Lobbied for Release of Lockerbie Convict

Robert Mackey
The New York Times

On Monday, Senator Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat, called on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations “to investigate the role that BP may have played in securing the early release” of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence officer who was convicted of murder for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Senator Lautenberg wrote in a letter to the committee’s chairman:

According to recent news reports, BP is about to begin drilling for oil in Libya’s Gulf of Sidra. During negotiations of this oil exploration plan in 2007, the oil giant may have encouraged the release of Mr. Megrahi to help close the deal.

Weeks after Mr. Megrahi was released from a Scottish prison last August, following medical advice that he could die of prostate cancer in less than three months, The Wall Street Journal reported that BP said that a lobbyist for the company had pressed the British government to make it easier to send Libyans convicted of crimes in Britain back home.

The Journal reported that Mark Allen, a special adviser to BP and a former official in Britain’s MI6 intelligence service, had called Britain’s justice minister in October, 2007 to say that the company “was concerned that a delay in concluding a prisoner transfer agreement with the Libyan government might hurt a $900 million oil deal it had just signed with the North African state in May, 2007.”

The article continues at the New York Times.

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