US Senate panel denies asking Blair to testify

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A US Senate panel categorically denied Thursday having asked former British prime minister Tony Blair to testify about whether BP lobbied for the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

"Tony Blair has not been invited to testify. Any such indication was made in error," Senate Foreign Relations Committee spokesman Fred Jones told AFP.

He was responding to reports by the BBC and Sky News claiming Blair had been asked to appear at a hearing in Washington next Thursday, along with ex-British justice secretary and foreign secretary Jack Straw.

The hearing focus on BP's alleged role in Scotland's decision last August to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, the only man convicted over the 1988 bombing that killed 270 people -- most of them Americans.

Nearly a year later, Megrahi remains alive and well in his native Libya despite being given only about three months to live when he was released.

© 2010 AFP

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