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Senators call for BP investigation over release of Libyan terrorist

A British Petroleum sign is seen at a gas station in Manassas, Va.

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

Steve Chiotakis: Four Democratic senators have called for a new investigation into the British oil giant. But it's not about the Gulf of Mexico oil leak. Instead, they're asking questions about BP's role in the early release of a Libyan terrorist from British custody. Marketplace's Stephen Beard is with us live from London. Hello Stephen.

Stephen Beard: Hello, Steve.

Chiotakis: So, all right, I thought things were bad for BP in the Gulf, but now terrorism is linked here? What are the senators saying?

Beard: They're referring to the early release last year from a Scottish jail of the Libyan al-Megrahi, he was serving a life's sentence after being convicted of the bombing of PanAm flight 103 over Scotland in 1988 -- 270 people died in that attack, mostly Americans. Now the four senators point out that a British press report last year suggested BP had lobbied for al-Megrahi's early release in order to appease Libya to save out on a $1 billion oil deal. The senators say Deepwater Horizon shows this company puts profit before people, the question is do they also put profit before justice?

Chiotakis: And what about BP's response? What are they saying?

Beard: They admit that they express concerns about what they call the "slow progress" of al-Megrahi's release and the damage it was doing to Britain's commercial interests with Libya. But the company denies they were closely involved in the release or trying to appease the Libyans. However, this call for an inquiry by the four senators shows how much damage Deepwater Horizon has now done to BP's interests in the United States.

Chiotakis: Marketplace's Stephen Beard, reporting from London. Stephen, thank you.

Beard: OK, Steve.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.
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