BP lobbied British authorities for prisoner transfer agreement with Libya

Embattled company nonetheless denies role in Lockerbie bomber's release

Mere hours after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed to investigate allegations BP was involved in the release of the Lockerbie bomber, the oil company admitted it lobbied the British government to reach a prisoner transfer deal with Libya, fearing delays in negotiations could damage its “commercial interests” and disrupt its $1.4 billion offshore drilling operations in the region. However, the oil company has denied it was involved in the release of Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, who was freed by Scottish authorities last year. “It is matter of public record that in late 2007 BP told the UK Government that we were concerned about the slow progress that was being made in concluding a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya,” the company said in a statement. “We were aware that this could have a negative impact on UK commercial interests, including the ratification by the Libyan Government of BP’s exploration agreement.” A spokesman added: “The decision to release Mr al-Megrahi in August 2009 was taken by the Scottish Government.”

The Telegraph