Thursday 27 July 2017

Gaddafi spy chief denies torture following claims on BBC’s Panorama

Former Libyan foreign minister Musa Kusa today denied being involved in the torture of political detainees or in the 1996 massacre at the country's notorious Abu Salim prison following allegations on the BBC's Panorama programme. Photo: PA
Former Libyan foreign minister Musa Kusa today denied being involved in the torture of political detainees or in the 1996 massacre at the country's notorious Abu Salim prison following allegations on the BBC's Panorama programme. Photo: PA

Robert Dex

FORMER Libyan foreign minister Musa Kusa today denied being involved in the torture of political detainees or in the 1996 massacre at the country's notorious Abu Salim prison following allegations on the BBC's Panorama programme.

The show, which was broadcast on Monday, alleged he personally tortured prisoners with an electric rod.



Kusa, who made a high-profile defection to Britain in March as Colonel Gaddafi's regime crumbled, also said in a statement issued through legal representatives in London that he had "no involvement of any kind or knowledge" of the Lockerbie bombing and the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher.



He accused programme-makers of making "false allegations", adding: "I have never tortured anyone nor been involved in torture. Neither was I present at the massacre at Abu Salim prison."



Kusa left Britain following an EU decision to lift sanctions against him, meaning he no longer faces travel restrictions or an asset freeze.



He was head of Col Gaddafi's intelligence agency from 1994 and a senior intelligence agent when PanAm flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 people.



Kusa said he had "voluntarily assisted the relevant investigatory authorities with their inquiries" about WPc Fletcher's murder and the attack over Lockerbie.



The programme, called Britain, Gaddafi And The Torture Trail, described Kusa as one of the former Libyan leader's "most ruthless henchmen".



It confronted him with the claims at a luxury resort in Qatar where he is living but he declined to comment on them.



In his statement today, Kusa said: "When the reporter confronted me, I was taken by surprise and had no idea who he was.



"Far from being 'tracked down' in Doha by the BBC and 'on the run', I have made no secret of my whereabouts in Qatar since I left the UK in April earlier this year. Contrary to assertions made by the BBC, I am not a wealthy man and I am currently being supported by friends."



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