UK Official: Talk of Shady Lockerbie Deal 'Offensive'

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2009 2:17 PM CDT
Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi arrives in Tripoli.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – A British official today denied suggestions that the government struck a deal to free the Lockerbie bomber in exchange for a nice price on Libyan oil, reports the Guardian. "It's not only completely wrong to make such a suggestion, it's also quite offensive," said the business secretary. The allegation arose after Moammar Gadhafi's son said the release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi had been linked to trade talks over gas and oil, followed up by Gadhafi himself publicly thanking Gordon Brown.

There was "no agreement between the Libyan government and the British government," said Lord Mandelson. He said Libya always brought up the issue at trade meetings, and it was always summarily rejected. "The issue of the prisoner's release was entirely a matter for the Scottish justice minister."  Not good enough, says the opposition party. They want Brown himself to answer the allegations.