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Lautenberg Calls for Hearing and Investigation Into Release of Lockerbie Bomber
NJ Sen. Wants To Know Whether Bomber's Release Was Influenced By Oil Contracts Between U.K. and Libyan Government
Lautenberg Press Office (202) 224-3224
Wednesday, September 02,
NEWARK, NJ – Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) today called for Senate hearings and an investigation into the release of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence agent convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, to determine if his release was influenced by oil contracts between the U.K.-based oil company BP Plc. and the government of Libya. The Scottish government released al-Megrahi from prison after serving only eight years of a life year sentence on August 20.
“The bombing of Pan Am 103 was a brutal act of terrorism that resulted in the deaths of 270 people, including 189 Americans,” Lautenberg wrote in a letter to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and Vice Chairman Richard Lugar (R-IA). “Scottish authorities have insisted that Mr. Megrahi’s release was on ‘compassionate’ grounds due to his failing health. I urge the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to hold a hearing and investigation to uncover whether justice took a back seat to commercial interests.”
Sen. Lautenberg believes more investigation is required on four specific points:
- Whether oil and commercial interests led to the U.K’s. authorization to include al-Megrahi in the Prisoner Transfer Agreement (PTA) when it had previously sought to exclude him;
- If the negotiated PTA and/or the August 20 release of al-Megrahi violated the international agreement between the U.S. and the U.K.;
- Whether oil contracts played a role in the U.K. government’s actions leading up to the release of al-Megrahi, including the U.K.’s failure to object to al-Megrahi’s release; and
- Whether commercial interests played a role in the decision to release al-Megrahi.
A copy of the Senator’s letter is here.
Lautenberg has repeatedly condemned the release of al-Megrahi and successfully worked with the State Department to restrict Muammar Qaddafi from entering New Jersey this September.
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