(Reuters) – U.S. Senator Robert Menendez said on Monday he wants BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward to testify at congressional hearings examining if the British energy giant influenced the release of the convicted Lockerbie bomber to further its business interests.
“A new CEO won’t be useful to me because Tony Hayward is the person,” Menendez said at a press conference in New York when asked if he still wanted Hayward to testify in light of expectations that he will step in the next 24 hours.
Menendez will chair Thursday’s scheduled hearings at the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. U.S. politicians have expressed outrage at the release of convicted bomber and Libyan intelligence officer Abdel Basset al-Megrahi last year on grounds of compassion and want to know if BP played a role in the bomber’s release.
The case has become even more volatile since the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico increased U.S. anger at BP. The four senators from New York and New Jersey have demanded the British government and the State Department investigate the circumstances under which Megrahi was freed on compassionate grounds but has not subsequently died, as was predicted.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta, writing by Mark Egan, Editing by Sandra Maler)