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Schumer demands more info on release of Pan Am 103 bomber

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New York Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for a closer look into allegations that oil giant BP played a role in negotiating the release of the Lockerbie bomber. Jonathan Brown reports.

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Abdelbaset Al Megrahi was convicted of bringing down Pan Am Flight 103 just before Christmas 1988. The plane was carrying several American students returning from schools across Europe. 270 people were killed. Megrahi was released by authorities in the United Kingdom last year.

Speaking in Buffalo yesterday Senator Shumer demanded that new British Prime Minister David Cameron provide more information about Megrahi's release. "Mounting circumstantial evidence is leading us closer to believing that there was a deal between the BP oil company, the British government and the Libyan government releasing Al Megrahi in return for access to oil," said Shumer. "Again, a blood money deal is a blood money deal and can't be disguised."

Shumer said the federal government has leverage over BP and if evidence of a backroom deal should surface, the US can prosecute the company for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. "If BP didn't have any assets in the United States," said Shumer, "it would be tough. But BP has billions of dollars in assets in the United States. They are not only a British company but they have much corporate activity in the United States and thus are under this act. And the act calls for both fines, very significant fines, and prison terms which BP would be susceptible to."

David Cameron, speaking yesterday before embarking on his first trip to the US as prime minister, called the release of Al Megrahi "utterly wrong."

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