Friday, 30 July 2010

US Senate Lockerbie bomber inquiry 'may visit UK'

[This is the heading over a report on the BBC News website. It reads in part:]

The US senator, who is to chair a rescheduled congressional inquiry into the Lockerbie bomber release, has said he may send investigators to Britain.

In an interview for the BBC's Newsnight programme, Senator Robert Menendez said he wanted to take up offers from some witnesses to be questioned in the UK.

Scots Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill and former UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw refused to testify in the US.

BP's outgoing chief executive Tony Hayward also declined to appear.

Mr Menendez has rescheduled the hearing for September and issued fresh invitations to all potential witnesses.

The senator told Newsnight: "In addition to making a request for them to come to the hearings, we will be sending individuals... to Great Britain and Scotland to interview the individuals and to ask questions and get a thorough understanding of how they came to their decisions."

Also speaking on the programme, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said he was happy to offer a visiting US senator "the courtesy of a meeting".

But he said there was "no way on Earth" Scottish ministers would formally give evidence to a committee hearing of a foreign legislature, even if it was held in the UK.

"It's a point of principle that you're not responsible to the committee of another parliament," he said.

"I don't think there is a recorded case in history of a serving American secretary going to another jurisdiction to give evidence to a committee of another parliament. That applies to the Chilcot Committee, it applies to coroners' inquests in England, it applies to extraordinary rendition and all the other controversies the US has been involved in.

"You shouldn't ask other people to do things that your own government would never dream of," he said.


  1. If these people are permitted to come here and conduct their enquiries in a country outwith the United States then I really will believe the authorities here have totally lost it!

    They would have no authority here whatsoever. They would be outwith their own jurisdiction and they know both of these things. This is about publicity for them ahead of elections and it really is high time they were told what a complete disgrace they are in so many respects that it is hard to keep track.

  2. ....then again to the Americans its just another type of illegal invasion I suppose. Interesting tho, that given their alleged outrage they STILL aren't keen to talk to the architect of the PTA, Mr Tony Blair, the guy who started all the deals with Libya over Megrahi.