2 Jun 2010

Criminal investigation opened into Gulf oil leak

10:16 am on 2 June 2010

The United States government has opened a criminal and civil investigation into a huge oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

US Attorney General Eric Holder, has not named any companies or individuals, but promises that anyone who has violated the law will be prosecuted.

The spill began after BP drilling rig exploded on 20 April, killing 11 people.

Mr Holder says he's obliged under environment laws to carry out a civil investigation and prosecutors have told him there is sufficient basis for a criminal probe as well.

If evidence of illegal behavior is found, he says the Justice Department will be forceful in its response.