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Did BP have a role in the release of the Lockerbie bomber? That is what US senators want to know as they press for an investigation on the issue.

Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, a Libyan national, was the only man convicted in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am Flight over Lockerbie, Scotland.

The bombing killed 270 people - most of them US citizens. In 2001, al-Megrahi was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

But the Scottish government released him last year on 'strict justice criteria' -  saying he has terminal cancer with just three months to live. 

Shortly after Megrahi's return to Tripoli, the Libyan government awarded BP a multi-billion dollar offshore oil deal.

The timing of the deal, and the fact that 11 months after the release Meghrahi is still alive has led to speculation as to whether BP had anything to do with the release. 

The oil giant denies lobbying for al-Megrahi's release - saying it only encouraged the British government to complete a prisoner-transfer deal with Libya.
So, what are the likely implications of the alleged BP role in al-Megrahi's controversial release?

Inside Story, with presenter Sohail Rahman, discusses with Bill Kidd, a member of the Scottish Parliament for the Scottish National Party, Hans Koechler, who was an International Observer at the Lockerbie trial, and Dave Cole, the managing director of the Atlantic Council.

This episode of Inside Story airs from Thursday, July 22, at 1730GMT, with repeats at 2230GMT, and the next day at 0430GMT and 1030GMT.

Source: Al Jazeera