Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

World Briefing / Britain

Oil, trade a factor in Libya deal

September 06, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Trade and oil considerations played a big part in the decision not to exclude the Lockerbie bomber from a prisoner transfer agreement between Britain and Libya, a senior official said in a newspaper interview.

Justice Secretary Jack Straw said trade, particularly a deal for oil company BP, was "a very big part" of the 2007 negotiations that led to the deal. Abdel Basset Ali Megrahi, however, was not released under that deal, but separately by Scotland on compassionate grounds because he has terminal prostate cancer.

"Libya was a rogue state," Straw was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph. "We wanted to bring it back into the fold and trade is an essential part of it -- and subsequently there was the BP deal."

The British and Scottish governments have faced intense criticism over the release of Megrahi, who was convicted in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270.

Opposition politicians and many victims' families say business considerations influenced the decision.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|