Lockerbie bomber’s release was part of UK-Libyan oil deal, says paper
September 1, 2009 1 Comment
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Negotiation difficulties between British Petroleum (BP) and the Libyan government over an oil exploration deal were resolved soon after London decided to authorize last month’s release of a man convicted for his role in the 1988 Lockerbie air disaster, The London Times said on Sunday. Former Libyan intelligence agent Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was released on August 19 by British authorities on compassionate grounds and is now in Tripoli. The paper says that documents in its possession show that the decision to release al-Megrahi was the culmination of a two-year-long negotiation between the British and Libyan governments, as well as regional authorities in Scotland, where al-Megrahi was imprisoned. If The Times’ allegations are correct, and if former CIA agent Robert Baer is accurate in his charges, then it would appear that London and Washington scored a double victory by releasing al-Megrahi to the Libyans: they prevented the Libyan’s legal team from filing an appeal, which Baer believes would have proven beyond doubt that Iran, not Libya, was behind the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103. They were also able to link al-Megrahi’s transfer with a lucrative oil exploration contract worth up to £15 billion ($24,5 billion), according to The Times.