The Times this morning has followed up on Guido’s story about the involvement of Sir Mark Allen, the ex-MI6 point man for Libya turned BP fixer in the release of al Megrahi.
The Times confirms that
Jack Straw was personally lobbied by BP over Britain’s prisoner transfer agreement with Libya just before he abandoned efforts to exclude the Lockerbie bomber from the deal… the Justice Secretary took two telephone calls from Sir Mark Allen, a former M16 agent, who was by then working for BP as a consultant, on October 15 and November 9, 2007.
Depite BP flatly denying last week that it had lobbied for the release of Megrahi The Times reports that a spokesman now says:
“BP did bring to the attention of the Government in late 2007 our concerns about the slow progress in concluding a PTA with Libya. Like many others we were aware that delay might have negative consequences for UK commercial interests including ratification of BP’s exploration agreement.”
What was it Mandelson said when the government was first accused of making a Prisoners-for-Oil deal? “It’s not only completely wrong to make such a suggestion it’s also quite offensive” – looks like we were not wrong, but it was morally offensive…