July 26th, 2010
09:36 AM ET

Senators, Lockerbie bombing families hold news conference

[Update 18:09] Two U.S. senators ratcheted up the pressure on BP and British government officials Monday to provide answers to the questions now swirling around the release of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the Libyan man convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pam Am Flight 103, which killed 270 people.

Obama administration officials, meanwhile, took what was described as an "exceptional step" to make clear that they had strongly opposed al Megrahi's release.

A group of senators from New York and New Jersey have repeatedly voiced suspicions that Scottish authorities released al Megrahi as part of a deal allowing oil giant BP to drill off the Libyan coast. BP, a British corporation, is already dealing with a public relations nightmare as the company responsible for the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, is set to lead a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing Thursday on the controversy surrounding al Megrahi's release. Several British officials have declined invitations to testify.

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[Original post] A pair of U.S. senators and the families of Lockerbie bombing victims will hold a news conference Monday in Times Square ahead of this week's Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the matter.

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey will chair Thursday's hearing on last year's release by Scotland of a Libyan man convicted in the 1988 bombing of Pam Am Flight 103 that killed 270 people. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York also is a member of the committee.

They were part of a group of four senators who met for 45 minutes last week with Prime Minister David Cameron, asking the British leader for an independent investigation into the release of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi and any possible involvement by oil giant BP might have had. Sen. Charles
Schumer of New York and New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg also attended. All are Democrats.

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Filed under: Politics • Terrorism
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Smith in Oregon

    It appears that the depraved and corrupt Republican administration of Bush-Cheney directly thawed out the frozen relationship between Libya and the West and helped broker the multi-Trillion dollar Oil leasing contract between BP and Libya. It certainly appears that Libya insisted on the compassionate release of the Lockerbie bomber as a condition of it's awarding BP that enormous Libyan Oil lease. The UK needs Oil and BP's tax dollars. What did Bush-Cheney personally get from BP for doing that? The American people got nothing but HOSED!

    July 26, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • steve harnack

      Bush/Cheney got the British to continue to co-sign their little adventures.

      July 27, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. fronco123

    I think the senate is taking there eye off the ball on this issue.do they know anything or did they just open up a can of worms. or is it just a prank.

    July 26, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |