EDINBURGH, Scotland, July 30 (UPI) -- There is no possibility for U.S. lawmakers to grill Scottish or British officials on the Lockerbie bomber case overseas, a Scottish official said.
The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee postponed a Thursday hearing into the release of Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the convicted bomber of Pan Am flight 103 over Scotland in 1988.
Megrahi was released to Libya in 2009 on compassionate grounds because it was believed he was dying from cancer. The meeting was postponed because Scottish, British and key oil executives refused an invitation to attend.
British oil company BP, under fire in the United States for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, was involved in negotiations on a prisoner transfer with Libya, saying it feared a lucrative oil deal was in jeopardy. The company stressed, however, that it was not involved in talks on Megrahi.
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who was to chair the Senate committee, said he was considering sending a team overseas to investigate the situation in September.
"My hope is that giving these witnesses a longer lead time will allow them to reconsider participating and to work the hearing into their schedules," he was quoted by London's Telegraph newspaper as saying.
Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said there was "no way on Earth" that U.S. lawmakers would hold hearings in London or Scotland, the newspaper reported.
Both governments deny the link between the oil deal and the Megrahi case.