Lockerbie Bomber Freed for Oil: UK Official

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2009 5:35 PM CDT
Jack Straw, Britain's Secretary of State for Justice, arrives for a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday June 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
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(Newser) – A top British official said today that Scotland sent the Lockerbie bomber to Libya to facilitate a multi-million-dollar oil deal. Contradicting PM Gordon Brown, Justice Secretary Jack Straw told the Telegraph that the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi helped BP sign an agreement with Libya. "I’m unapologetic about that," Straw said. "Libya was a rogue state. We wanted to bring it back into the fold."

"And yes, that included trade because trade is an essential part of it and subsequently there was the BP deal." But he said Brown was not privy to the agreement. Documents released this week showed that Straw accepted Lybia's demand that al-Megrahi be included in a prisoner transfer deal, after BP said excluding the bomber would hurt its business interests.