Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

BP ‘pushed for release of Lockerbie bomber'

Hillary Clinton heaped further pressure on BP yesterday as she announced the US State Department would consider an investigation into the beleaguered energy giant's role in the release of the Lockerbie bomber last year.

The Secretary of State said she had received a letter from four Democrat senators alleging that BP pressured the Scottish government to release Libyan Abdel Basset al-Megrahi to help the company's efforts to win drilling licences put up for tender by Tripoli.

Al-Megrahi was released in August last year after doctors in Scotland said hehad cancer and had just three months to live.

Reports from Libya suggest he could now live for another decade.

A total of 270 people died when the aircraft exploded over the Scottish town in December 1988.

BP is expected to start drilling for oil in the Gulf of Sidra off the Libyan coast within the next two weeks after being granted concession rights in 2007.

In a statement, a spokesman for BP said: “In late 2007, BP told the UK Government we were concerned about slow progress being made in concluding a Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Libya.

“The decision to release Al-Megrahi in 2009 was taken by the Scottish government.”

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