Sunday, August 30, 2009

Straw: Megrahi inclusion in Libya prisoner deal was 'in UK interests'

Leaked letters from justice secretary to Scottish counterpart Kenny MacAskill increase controversy over release of man convicted of Lockerbie bombing

Haroon Siddique and agencies, Sunday 30 August 2009

".....In one of the letters, disclosed by the Sunday Times, Straw wrote: "I had previously accepted the importance of the al-Megrahi issue to Scotland and said I would try to get an exclusion for him on the face of the agreement.

"I have not been able to secure an explicit exclusion.

"The wider negotiations are reaching a critical stage and, in view of the overwhelming interests of the United Kingdom, I have agreed that, in this instance, the [PTA] should be in the standard form and not mention any individual."

Straw's apparent change of stance came at a crucial time in negotiations about an oil exploration contract for BP in Libya, the Sunday Times said.
Less than six weeks later, the deal was ratified......."

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