Justice for Pan Am Flight 103 victims
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 one victim's family hopes will happen.
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ERIE COUNTY, N.Y. -- "It doesn't end. We've been thinking it’s all over with and here we go, the guy's out, now, maybe a possibility of getting back in. So the story's going to go some more distance,” said Bill Brunner, Pan Am Flight 103 victim's brother.
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's been more than 20 years since her death but families like the Brunner’s still aren't at peace, especially since the man convicted in the case, Abdel 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's 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 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 Sen. Charles Schumer, (D) New York.
Schumer admits the evidence is circumstantial, but says it's 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 wasn't 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 shouldn't break ground.
Thirty five SU students, along with a handful of other people from Central New York were killed in the explosion over Lockerbie.