Lockerbie Hearings Stall as BP, Brits Stonewall

Senator blasts 'outrageous' witness refusals
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2010 5:39 AM CDT
Lockerbie Hearings Stall as BP, Brits Stonewall
Sen. Charles Schumer, left, and Sen. Robert Menendez in front of the British Embassy, July 20, 2010, in Washington, after meeting with David Cameron regarding the release of the Lockerbie bomber.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – The US Senate wants somebody to explain why the Lockerbie bomber was released, and both BP and top UK officials are answering with a resounding "Not it," postponing hearings due to start tomorrow. Key witnesses refused to testify—including outgoing BP boss Tony Hayward, former UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw, and Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. The UK denies stonewalling the Senate's investigation of claims the 2009 release was linked to potential oil deals with Libya.

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"It would have been extremely unusual for a parliamentarian of one country to be held accountable to the parliamentarians of another," a British government source tells the BBC. Sen. Robert Menendez, due to chair the hearings, countered that the postponement was "outrageous" and blasted BP: "It is hard to imagine that a company on such thin ice with the American people, after devastating our Gulf Coast, would not fully cooperate in getting to the bottom of the release of a terrorist who murdered 189 Americans," he said.
(Read more Lockerbie stories.)

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