Wednesday 20 November 2019

Lockerbie families furious as defector leaves UK

Damien McElroy in Cairo and Bruno Waterfield in Luxembourg

FAMILIES of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing expressed fury last night after Moussa Koussa was allowed to leave Britain for Qatar to take part in a summit on Libya's future.

The former Libyan foreign minister and suspected architect of the Lockerbie bombing, which left 270 people dead, walked out of his MI6 safe house less than two weeks after defecting from the Libyan regime.

Mr Koussa has left the supervision of security agencies who had questioned him at the secret location after his defection to Britain.

Last week, he was also interviewed by Scottish police over his involvement as Gaddafi's spy chief in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988.

Pamela Dix, whose brother Peter was killed in the bombing, said: "I'm astonished that he is apparently free to come and go in this way."

Officials have stressed they "expect but cannot guarantee" Mr Koussa will return to Britain to face continued questioning over his part in terrorism and war crimes carried out by the Gaddafi regime.

Mr Koussa is to play a key role at a summit in Qatar today for regime change in Libya.

As a recent member of Gaddafi's inner circle, Mr Koussa will offer insights to ministers and diplomats on the need to keep up the pressure to topple a divided regime.

Malcolm Rifkind, the Conservative MP and former foreign secretary, said it was likely Mr Koussa could make "an important contribution" to getting a resolution in Libya.


"There cannot be a resolution of the Libyan crisis without Gaddafi going, so anything that contributes to Gaddafi getting off the stage, giving up power sooner rather than later, must be in everyone's interests."

The talks in Doha will be attended by officials from the British, French and US-led Libya coalition of 20 countries. Also present will be NATO, the United Nations, European Union, Arab League and African Union, but rebels will demand why Mr Koussa, a man with "blood on his hands", is involved in the first international talks on Libya's future.

"I think they owe us that," said Mustafa Gherani, a rebel spokesman. "He is the black box of Gaddafi's regime, holding many dark secrets about the government's misdeeds." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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