Great Britain: did our government agree to a “trade for terrorist plan”to secure a massive oil and gas deal for BP?

Readers send many links to news about the revolving door, rewards for failure and the political influence wielded by the corporate world – but all this has been repeatedly covered on this site and it is wearying to continue to print them – just more of the same.

But, today, has a new low been reached?

Even bearing in mind the biased source, this weariness is shattered by the claim of former justice minister Kenny MacAskill, that the UK government made Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi – sentenced to life imprisonment in 2001 for blowing up a Pan-Am airliner over Lockerbie in 1988 – eligible for return to his Libyan home under a “trade for terrorist plan” to try to secure a massive oil and gas deal for BP which was in doubt.

In a new book, Kenny MacAskill says Jack Straw, then UK justice secretary, shared the details in a “highly confidential” telephone call which casts new light on a controversy that has dogged Tony Blair since his 2007 “deal in the desert” with the Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddaffi.

blair gaddafi shake hands

That deal was to give British industry access to Libyan oil reserves worth up to £13bn and £350m of defence contracts and involved a prisoner transfer agreement. MacAskill claims Straw warned him that Gaddaffi was threatening to cancel the energy contact and award it to a US firm unless Megrahi was returned under the PTA, after learning the new SNP regime was trying to exempt him.

Within weeks of the UK government agreeing not to exempt Megrahi from the PTA, Gaddaffi ratified the BP deal with Libya’s national oil corporation.

A spokesman for BP said the company had no comment on the UK government’s actions or discussions.

MacAskill also admits his decision to free Megrahi was partly motivated by a fear of violent reprisals against Scots if the killer died in Scottish custody. Just a few weeks before the decision was made to free him, UK hostages taken prisoner in Iraq had been murdered and other Western nationals captured in the area were executed. The former Scottish minister writes: “There was hostility to the West and ordinary citizens were becoming targets. Most in North Africa or the wider Arab world neither knew of Scotland nor cared about it. The last thing I wanted was to have Scotland become a place that was demonised and its citizens targeted. I would not allow Scottish oil workers or others, wherever they might be, to face retribution as a consequence of my decision.”

Kenny MacAskill has also argued that a coalition involving Libyan, Syrian, Iranian and Palestinian terrorists were behind the Lockerbie bombing, in revenge for the downing of an Iran Air flight by a US naval ship in July 1988.

 

 

 

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Posted on May 15, 2016, in Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Foreign policy, Government, Lobbying and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. BP – oil – lots of dosh – Libya? That went well then, didn’t it?

  2. Reblogged this on sdbast.

  3. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi had nothing to do with the Lockerbie bombing. So it was not an oil-for-terrorism deal. The bomb was planted at Heathrow. The CIA and our secret services know who planted it (probably the South African secret services backed by corporate interests in Namibia, De Beers for example) with the intent of killing the UN commissioner to Namibia, Bernt Carlsson.

  4. I agree that there are serious doubts about Megrahi’s guilt – shared by some victims’ families. i did not name him as such. ‘Trade for terrorist plan’was the name given to the project and reported as such.

    The point of the article is to highlight the influence of corporate interests over governnment.

  5. I realise that Admin. Kenny MacAskill cites Jack Straw as claiming the ‘deal in the desert’ could fail if Megrahi was not released. I trust neither of these political animals. There’s quite a lot of information about the Lockerbie bombing on the Wikispooks website. So many unanswered questions. Mention Inquiry and nobody wants it any more than the Yanks want families with members lost in 9/11 to take legal action against the Saudi government for fears it might put US national interests at risk. You bet!

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