LOCKERBIE, Scotland, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Concerns over the release of the man convicted in the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 aren't the ravings of "conspiracy theory fanatics," a Scottish priest said.
Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which crashed onto the Scottish town of Lockerbie on Dec. 21, 1988. A total of 270 people died in the attack.
Scottish lawmakers last year released the former Libyan intelligence officer for compassionate reasons following a terminal cancer diagnosis. U.S. lawmakers, incensed over the BP oil disaster off the southern coast of the United States, raised concerns during the summer, saying the Megrahi decision was somehow tied to oil.
The Rev. Pat Keegans, a priest in Lockerbie, in an open letter to families of the U.S. victims of the bombing called for support for a public inquiry, Scottish newspaper The Herald reports.
"Show your concern for the legitimate and sincere views consistently held by me and many others," the letter states, adding the concerns "cannot be discounted as the rantings and ravings of conspiracy theory fanatics."
BP said it would invest roughly $1 billion during the next seven years to develop Libyan oil reserves. The company aims to start offshore drilling in December.
BP, as well as the British and Scottish governments, said oil has nothing to do with the Megrahi case, however.