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Did BP push for Lockerbie Pan Am Flight 103 bombing terrorist's release to get a good oil deal with Libya?

8:27 AM, Jul 21, 2010   |    comments
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  • The wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103, bombed by terrorists over Lockerbie, Scotland. The attack killed 270 people.

While visiting Washington on Tuesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron faced an intense allegation that came up last week.

Four U.S. senators want the British government to launch an investigation. The question: Whether Scottish officials released a convicted terrorist from prison -- in order to make some oil deals easier for BP.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was serving a life sentence for his role in blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.

He was set free, and returned to Lybia last year as an act of compassion; he was supposedly dying of cancer.

But he's still alive. And since 2007, BP has sealed at least $900 million worth of oil exploration deals with Libya.

Cameron told President Barack Obama he'd deliver all of the facts to the U.S. government -- but would not start an investigation.

What sort of lobbying BP did while landing oil deals with Lybia is a "matter for BP to answer," Cameron said.

BP has denied having a role in al-Megrahi's release.  The Scottish government, which to some degree operates independently from the United Kingdom, has also denied a conspiracy.

In Florida's capital Tuesday, the special session called to consider putting an offshore drilling ban on the November ballot came and went in just minutes with no action.

"We were called here today because of politics," House Speaker Larry Cretul (R-Ocala) said as he opened the brief session.

Republican lawmakers called the session a political ploy by Governor Charlie Crist.

"To be here today to politically posture and put a symbolic ploy in place for political gain is wrong," State Rep. Steve Crisafulli (R-Merritt Island) said.

Crist -- who's running as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate -- fired back.

"Today, I call this legislature the 'Do-Nothing Legislature.' And I'm going to give 'em hell for it," Crist said.

Hours later, leaders from Florida's Sierra Club chapter spoke in St. Pete Beach.

They backed Crist's criticism of the Legislature and called for action to ban offshore drilling within 10 miles of Florida's coast.

Instead of taking up the drilling ban, Speaker Cretul instead said he's organizing a September special session that will focus on Florida's economic recovery in the wake of the Gulf oil spill.

Estimates of the cost of a special session range from $40,000-$50,000 per day.

Grayson Kamm, 10 Connects

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