Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Witnesses at US Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to hold a hearing this week over last year's controversial release of the Lockerbie bomber two months after a similar hearing was canceled.

One of the leading senators to press for a probe of the release of Abdelbasset Al-Megrahi, Robert Menendez (D-NJ), will preside over the hearing on Wednesday morning. But absent the list of scheduled witnesses are many key figures who declined to attend a planned hearing in July that was canceled because of what Menendez called stonewalling by British and Scottish officials.

Scheduled to testify on Wednesday are Nancy McEldowney, a State Department official who deals with European affairs and Bruce Swartz, who is a deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice's criminal division. Dr James Mohler, a top urologist at a Buffalo, NY cancer center will also appear before the panel. (...)

In July, Menendez sought the testimony of key figures such as Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, who freed al-Megrahi and former UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw.

They also requested that BP CEO Tony Hayward attend the hearing over suspicions that the company lobbied for Megrahi's release in order to secure oil leases in Libya, the bomber's country of origin.

Menendez said in July that the foreign relations panel would shift its focus to a "longer-term multidimensional inquiry" into al-Megrahi's release (...)

[From a report on the US Congress blog The Hill. Just the tiniest hint here of the bottom of a barrel being scraped?]

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