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Menendez, Lautenberg to Continue BP-Lockerbie Investigation

Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both New Jersey Democrats, will continue to seek details about BP’s alleged involvement in the release last year of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi from a Scottish prison. Al-Megrahi was convicted of organizing the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which resulted in the death of 270 people.

Late last month, representatives of BP and the Scottish and British governments told the New Jersey senators that they couldn’t make it to Washington to testify at a July 29 hearing on the issue, which was subsequently canceled. The senators announced today that they will continue to conduct an investigation into the release of al-Megrahi, which will touch on the involvement of BP, as well as both governments. They said they will reschedule the hearing in the coming months as they continue to gather information on a number of issues.

According to a statement from the senators, the investigation will include:

  • “A thorough review of all documents already made public by the British and Scottish governments and all documents newly released to Senator Menendez by the British government.”
  • “Requests for specific additional documents from sources potentially including the British, Scottish, Libyan and US governments, as well as BP.”
  • “Requests to interview key individuals, with the possibility of conducting such interviews outside of the U.S.”

Menendez and Lautenberg, as well as Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both Democrats from New York, have alleged that BP worked behind the scenes to help coordinate the release of al-Megrahi in order to finalize plans for a $900 million drilling project in the African country. BP has said it voiced concerns that the slow release of al-Megrahi could impact the company’s Libyan drilling contract, but denies any involvement in the release.

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