Senators call for investigation in to Pan Am Flight 103 bomber's release
It was a brutal act of terrorism and even though the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 happened decades ago, its impact continues. Now, a group of U.S. Senators are looking into last year's release of the man convicted in the bombing. Our Kaitlyn Lionti tells us what sparked their request, and what a local family hopes will happen.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
HAMBURG, N.Y. -- Bill Brunner is one of the family members who lost a loved one in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
His sister, Colleen Brunner, 20, was on her way back from studying abroad when the plane went down.
"It doesn't end. We've been thinking its all over with and here we go, the guy's out. Now, maybe a possibility of getting him back in. So the story's going to go some more distance," said Brunner.
It's been more than 20 years since her death, but families like the Brunners still are not at peace, especially since the man convicted in the case, Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi, was released from prison last year.
"It was definitely a tough thing to see him walk down from that aircraft and just act. Putting on an act like he had one foot in the grave and one foot on a banana peel," said Brunner.
Now, there is a new twist to the story. Senators from New York and New Jersey are asking the state department to investigate whether British Petroleum was involved in the release in efforts to finalize an oil deal with Libya-where al-Megrahi is from.
"All of the sudden, once Megrahi is released all the road blocks to that oil deal are removed and low and behold the oil deal is finally approved," said Senator Charles Schumer.
Schumer admits the evidence is circumstantial, but strong.
"The bottom line is simple. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it just might be a corrupt deal between BP, the British Government and Libya," said Schumer.
Brunner says, he was not surprised to hear there might be more to the release, and now he just wants the justice the victims deserve.
"Whoever's involved, if they could just come clean and the sooner they can come clean and get this murderer back in prison where he belongs. It can't happen soon enough," said Brunner.
"I know the anguish these families go through, and our promise to them is the horrific act that took the lives of your loved one is not forgotten and we're going to stay vigilant until we succeed," said Schumer.
Schumer says BP plans to start drilling off the coast of Libya in the next few weeks but until the deal is properly investigated, the project should not break ground.