[What follows is excerpted from the obituary of Sir Richard Paniguian published in The Times today:]
BP executive who worked with the Intelligence services and helped to release the ‘Lockerbie bomber’
As an oil industry executive turned spy, Sir Richard Paniguian helped to negotiate the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the former head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines, who had been convicted in 2001 of organising the bombing of the Pan Am plane that exploded over Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 people.
Megrahi was released in 2009 after widespread criticism of his conviction. While the British government denied any involvement in Megrahi’s release, confidential documents suggest that it was prompted by pressure from the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, in return for BP oil contracts and counterterrorism assistance.
BP admitted pushing for a prisoner transfer deal. The month after Megrahi returned home, Paniguian gave a speech in which he said that “high-level political interventions” had enhanced the prospect of arms sales to Libya.
Sir Richard Paniguian, CBE, oil industry executive and security chief, was born on July 28, 1949. He died of a heart attack on June 25, 2017 aged 67
[RB: I confess that this is the first time I have encountered this particular name in connection with Lockerbie. It is perhaps worth emphasising that it is the British Government, not the Scottish Government, that is referred to.]