Scottish ministers skip US Lockerbie hearing

Scottish ministers have declined a request to attend a US Senate hearing into the circumstances surrounding the release of the Lockerbie bomber, a spokesman for the Scottish government said Thursday.
BP PLC said that CEO Tony Hayward was also asked to attend the hearing but had not made a decision about the invitation.
Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, wrote to First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond, saying that the invitation was to help the senators better understand why Scotland decided to free Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi from jail last year and send him home to Libya.
In particular, the senators are probing whether an oil exploration deal between oil giant BP and Libya influenced the decision to release al-Megrahi.