The British Government is under pressure after allegations of an alleged trade deal behind the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdul Basset al Megrahi.
The Libyans are adamant Megrahi’s release has always been tied up with the oil and gas business and massive contracts with with British companies like BP.
Specifically Colonel Gaddaffi’s son Seif insists whenever he met British officials to discuss business, Meghrahi’s release was a condition of a deal being struck.
Britain’s Business Secretary, Peter Mandelson denies Libya’s claims.
He said: “The idea that the British government and the Libyan government would sit down and somehow barter over the freedom or the life of this Libyan prisoner and make it form part of some business deal… and then for London to phone the Scottish nationalist administration in Edinburgh and say let him out, is not only wrong, it’s completely implausible and actually quite offensive.”
Whether these claims and counter claims develop into a major row between Britain and Libya remains to be seen.
British companies who have secured multi-billion euro contracts in Libya will no doubt be hoping it the whole affair dies down soon.