Rep. Ted Poe (TX-02) and Rep. Michael McCaul (TX-10) were joined by Rep. Dan Burton (IN-05), Rep. Bob Inglis (SC-04) and Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02) in sending a letter today to Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Howard Berman, requesting that the committee launch a full investigation into the prisoner-transfer agreement of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi.
Reports have alleged that British Petroleum (BP) lobbied the British government for al-Megrahis inclusion in a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya in order to facilitate their $900 million oil-and-gas exploration deal off Libyas coast. Former British Justice minister, Jack Straw, has admitted that the BP deal was a consideration in his review of the case.
The letter additionally focuses on the most recent allegations indicating that both the British and U.S. government were in contact with Scottish officials overseeing al-Megrahis release. British officials indicated that his release would be beneficial to British commercial interests while American officials neglected to offer clear and unambiguous opposition to any release or transfer of the prisoner.
The allegations that a company used their influence to secure the release of a mass murderer in exchange for financial gain are an affront to justice and should not go ignored, said Rep. Ted Poe. Even more serious are the allegations that the United States government did not adamantly oppose the wheeling and dealing to free this terrorist killer that took the lives of 187 Americans.
"This is a slap on the face to the victims of Pan Am 103," said Rep. Michael McCaul, Ranking member of the Homeland Security Intelligence Subcommittee. "It would be the equivalent of the United States releasing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9/11."
Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi was the only person convicted in the 1998 Lockerbie airline bombing over Scotland. This terrorist attack killed 287 individuals, including 189 Americans. Last year, the Scottish courts ruled to release al-Megrahi after doctors informed the government he was likely to die within months of prostate cancer. However, al-Megrahi is currently alive and well in Libya.
Congressman Poe serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Subcommittees.
To read the letter sent to Chairman Howard Berman, click here.