[This is the headline over a report just published on the BBC News website. It reads in part:]
Former BP chief executive Lord Browne has said he never discussed the release of the Lockerbie bomber when he held talks with Libya's leader.
Lord Browne, whose 12 years in charge at BP ended in 2007, said he had met Colonel Gaddafi twice to discuss gas and oil exploration in Libya.
But he told an audience at the Edinburgh International Book Festival he had not lobbied the UK government for the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in order to help BP land a deal. (...)
Lord Browne said that the inclusion of Megrahi in a prisoner transfer agreement with Libya and a BP deal to look for oil in the North African country happened after he left the company. (...) [Note by RB: The "deal in the desert" was signed after Lord Browne's departure from BP, but the UK-Libya negotiations that culminated in it commenced in 2003.]
Lord Browne told the Edinburgh audience: "I went to see Gaddafi twice to see if I could negotiate entry to Libya.
"It did not happen but I think I got quite a way forward."
When asked if the release of Megrahi was ever discussed, he said: "Certainly not."