UK Under Pressure Amid Lockerbie Release

Britain's leaders faced strong pressure Saturday to account for any role they might have had in the release of the Lockerbie bomber after Moammar Gadhafi credited senior British officials and members of the royal family for influencing the decision.

Britain has condemned the scenes of jubilation in Tripoli at the return of bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi and has flatly denied there was any trade deal linked to his release.

But opposition politicians say comments from Gadhafi's son — who said the release was often brought up during trade talks — should be examined, The Associated Press reports.

"It is very important, I think, for the reputation of our institutions of justice that it is made clear beyond any doubt that this was not connected with some political trade," David Lidington , the opposition Conservative Party 's spokesman on foreign affairs, told the BBC.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Saturday no deals were ever made with Libya while he was in power to arrange the Lockerbie bomber's release, a move that has caused outrage in the United States.

"Let me make one thing absolutely clear," Blair, who stepped down as PM in 2007, told CNN's John Vause on Saturday in Guiyang, China. "The Libyans, of course, were raising the case for Megrahi all the way along, not just with me but with everybody. It was a major national concern for them. But as I used to say to them, I don't have the power to release Mr. Megrahi," CNN reports.

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