US investigation into al-Megrahi release postponed

Delay due to lack of crucial witnesses.

A US INQUIRY into the early release of the Lockerbie bomber has been postponed due to a lack of key witnesses. The US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee announced the delay today, saying that several individuals who were asked to testify declined to appear.

Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed al Megrahi, 58, is the only person convicted of the 1988 bombing which killed 270 people. Most of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing were American.

He was released last summer by Scottish authorities after doctors said he would die within three months, but is still alive. Al Megrahi suffers from terminal prostate cancer.

BP’s Tony Hayward was one of those invited to the hearing.

Others who declined to appear include the Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, former British Justice Secretary Jack Straw, and Andrew Fraser, the physician who gave the prognosis which led to al Megrahi’s release.

The investigation intends to establish whether a BP oil deal with al Megrahi’s native Libya had any influence on the bomber’s early release. Last week, Scotland’s first minister Alex Salmond said the Scottish government “did not receive any representations from BP in relation to Mr Al-Megrahi.”

Scotland has set up this site to publish information regarding al Megrahi’s release.