The Justice Secretary told The Daily Telegraph his decision to include Abdelbaset al Megrahi in a prisoner transfer agreement (PTA) with Libya two years ago was influenced by commercial interests.Commercial interests trumped justice and law and order. Despite the photos that make Megrahi appear sympathetic, he should have served out his sentence in prison, rather than be released to a heroes welcome in Libya.
He cited a lucrative deal which was being sought by British oil giant BP at the time Megrahi was included in the PTA, adding of the trade consideration: "I'm unapologetic about that.
"Libya was a rogue state," Mr Straw told the newspaper.
"We wanted to bring it back into the fold. And yes, that included trade because trade is an essential part of it and subsequently there was the BP deal."
His comments risk reigniting the row over Megrahi's release, after Gordon Brown insisted earlier this week there was "no conspiracy, no cover-up, no double-dealing, no deal on oil."
This had been in the works for more than two years - a prisoner transfer agreement had been made part of a comprehensive deal with Libya, that included a £550m oil deal with BP.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown had claimed that there was no link, and that oil deals were not part of the bargain. Right.