Libya rules out UK visit on Lockerbie

2012-03-07 09:26
Tripoli - Libya's interior minister on Tuesday ruled out a visit by British police to investigate the 1988 Lockerbie bombing or the killing of British policewoman Yvonne Fletcher almost two decades ago.

"There is no treaty between Britain and Libya to allow such a thing," Fawzi Abdelali told AFP in a joint interview with a British newspaper, adding that London had some explaining to do on its own dealings with Muammar Gaddafi’s ousted regime.

"Why did they shut up about this all these years and bring it up now, when we are in a period of transition and building up our institutions from scratch after decades of dictatorship," the minister asked.

"Do you remember when Fletcher was killed? We are now in 2012. Where was the British government from 1984 until 2011?" said the former district attorney who now has access to tens of thousands of files on Gaddafi’s dealings with world leaders.

For his part, Abdelali said he wanted allegations to be investigated by the ousted leader's jailed son Saif al-Islam that former British prime minister Tony Blair had acted as a political adviser to his father.

Blair played a key role in repairing diplomatic ties between the two countries and visited the north African nation several times after 2004.

"Why did the British government improve its relations with Gaddafi? Something happened in this case between the former Libyan regime and the British government to end this dispute," said the minister.

No concrete developments

"Didn't America and Britain accept millions of dollars from Gaddafi as the price to end this case [Lockerbie]? Who let Abdelbaset al-Megrahi go? Did we?" he asked, referring to the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing in which 270 people died.

A Scottish court in 2001 convicted Megrahi but he was released on compassionate grounds in 2009 after doctors said he had terminal cancer and only three months left to live.

The interior minister proposed that the British government ask Libyan authorities to open an investigation inside Libya, and the Libyan side would then share its findings with police in Britain.

But any decision would have to await the election of a new government in Libya, which is expected to vote on a constituent assembly in the last week of June, Abdelali stressed.

London has also been seeking information on the 1984 murder of British policewoman Yvonne Fletcher during a demonstration outside the Libyan embassy in the British capital.

Libya's new rulers have promised to find and bring to trial the main surviving suspect in the case, one of her former colleagues, retired police officer John Murray, said last September.

The fatal shots were believed to have come from within the embassy, but all the staff were deported back to Libya under diplomatic immunity and no charges have ever been brought.

Following the overthrow of Gaddafi, however, Murray travelled to Tripoli and said progress had finally been made in the case, but there have since been no concrete developments.

Military solution


British-Libyan relations have been put in the spotlight by the desecration of World War II graves in the eastern city of Benghazi and the detention of two British journalists by a renegade militia in Tripoli.

"We condemn all acts against any grave or sacred place, so we were saddened and upset by this," said the interior minister.

Abdelali added his ministry has called on authorities in Benghazi to investigate and arrest those responsible but that the Islamic "fundamentalist" culprits were still at large.

The minister added that his forces were capable of raiding the base where reporter Nick Davies and cameraman Gareth Montgomery-Johnson have been held since February 23, accused of illegal entry and possible espionage.

"We are capable of applying a military solution but this would cost a lot of blood so we continue to negotiate," said Abdelali.

Read more on:    abdelbaset al-megrahi  |  saif al-islam gaddafi  |  muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  uk  |  lockerbie bomber  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
When is a mountain more than just a mountain? 2014-12-18 07:26

When it’s an adventure! A group of Old Mutual employees found out how much is enough courage, endurance and camaraderie to take on Africa's highest peak.

/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.