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Democrats Accuse BP of Helping to Secure Release of Lockerbie Bomber

Four Democratic senators are calling on BP to suspend all drilling operations in Libya so the State Department can conduct an investigation into allegations that the company worked behind the scenes to help coordinate the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in order to finalize plans for drilling in the African country.

Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for the suspension at a press conference in the Capitol today. In a letter yesterday to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the senators wrote:

As you may know, in 2007, BP and the Libyan government agreed upon a $900 million oil exploration deal, following two visits to Libya over the course of three years by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. It was reported in September of last year that BP communicated to the British government concerns that possible delays in the release of al-Megrahi could throw the oil deal into jeopardy. Further raising suspicions about circumstances surrounding al-Megrahi’s release, the son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has made statements alluding to the fact that oil interests were part of the discussions.

Al-Megrahi was convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

A call to BP for comment was not immediately returned.

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