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BP should face criminal probe for its role in freeing Lockerbie bomber, Sen. Chuck Schumer says

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

BY Erin Durkin
DAILY NEWS WRITER

Monday, July 19th 2010, 4:00 AM

Zeitvogel/Getty: An anti-BP sign is displayed at a home in Louisiana.

BP should face a criminal investigation into its role in freeing the Lockerbie bomber, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.

Schumer and victims’ relatives called on Attorney General Eric Holder to look into whether the oil giant broke federal laws by lobbying the British government to free Libyan terrorist Abdel Baset al-Megrahi to help them close a $900 million oil deal with Libya.

“No matter how powerful the corporation, how important the foreign government, a blood money deal is a blood money deal,” Schumer said.

The Foreign Corrupt Services Act makes it a crime for a corporation to give anything of value to a foreign government in order to influence its actions.

BP has admitted lobbying the British government to speed up a prisoner exchange with Libya, though it denied specifically pushing for al-Megrahi’s release.

The British government has long denied any link between the bomber’s release last August and the oil deal – but few were buying the denial.

“BP wanted access to Libya’s oil fields. Libya wanted Megrahi back,” Schumer said. “This hardly seems like a coincidence.”

Victims’ families agreed.

“I think this is criminal,” said Brian Flynn of Manhattan, whose brother J.P. was one of 259 people killed on board Pan Am 103 in the 1988 disaster. “The British economy was in trouble. The Labor government was in trouble. And they chose to sell out to the Libyan government and to British Petroleum.”

Brice Daniels of New Jersey, who was just 7 years old when he lost his father, agreed.

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“It’s a whole lot of winking and nudging,” he said. “It’s sickening.”

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