'UK pressurised Scotland to release Lockerbie bomber over oil deal between BP-Libya'

London, Dec 22 (ANI): The British government had pressurised Scotland to release the convicted Lockerbie bomber last year over fears of "commercial warfare" from Libya, according to a report released by four U.S. senators.

The investigation was led by New Jersey Democratic Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg and New York Democratic Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Fox News quoted the report, which urged the British and Scottish governments to apologize for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi's release, as saying that a 900 million dollar oil deal with Libya ultimately led the Scottish justice system to free al-Megrahi in August 2009.

It further claimed that a faulty medical report was used to justify al-Megrahi's release on "compassionate" grounds, adding that the decision is an example of a complicated trade relationship between the United Kingdom and Libya.

"The U.K. government played a direct, critical role in al-Megrahi's release. The U.K. knew that in order to maintain trade relations with Libya, it had to give into political demands," the report said.

The report comes on the 22nd anniversary of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland, which killed 270 people.

According to the five-month investigation, the Scottish government ignored expert opinions challenging the doctor's claim that al-Megrahi was suffering from prostate cancer and will not live more that three months.

It further stated that a 2007 oil exploration deal between British Petroleum (BP) and the Libyan government was a primary concern, and in the end, the Scottish government felt pressure from the governments of Libya, the United Kingdom and Qatar to release al-Megrahi, the report said. (ANI)

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