[This is the headline over an article on the website of Scottish lawyers' magazine The Firm. It reads in part:]
Saif al-Islam Gadaffi, heir apparent to Colonel Gadaffi, has said that former intelligence chief Moussa Koussa has “no secrets” to tell over the Pan Am 103 event and says that both the British and the American Governments are already aware of the full circumstances surrounding the destruction of the Boeing airliner over Lockerbie.
Saif Gadaffi, who met with Peter Mandelson to facilitate Abdelbaset Al Megrahi’s repatriation to Libya, has spoken before on the geopolitical aspects of the Megrahi case, denying that Libya had any involvement in the event, but accepted responsibility in order to allow the UN sanctions regime to be lifted.
“The British and the Americans, they know about Lockerbie. They know everything about Lockerbie. There are no secrets anymore,” Gadaffi told the BBC’s John Simpson.
The claim mirrors an earlier revelation made to Dr Jim Swire of UK Families Flight 103.
“One of our number was told by an official on the US Commission of Inquiry, in an aside that: 'Your government and mine know exactly what happened, but they're never going to tell'", Swire says.
Gadaffi added that Koussa is likely to “invent stories” for the British authorities in order to secure his immunity.
“If you press him and say “You have to invent stories in order [for us] to give you immunity, what can he do?. The British Government said he had no immunity unless he cooperated. So of course he will come out with funny stories,” said Gadaffi.
[The BBC interview with Saif Gaddafi and a related report can be accessed here.
A report in today's edition of The New York Times contains the following:]
The Obama administration dropped financial sanctions on Monday against the top Libyan official who fled to Britain last week, saying it hoped the move would encourage other senior aides to abandon Col Muammar el-Qaddafi, the country’s embattled leader.
But the decision to unfreeze bank accounts and permit business dealings with the official, Moussa Koussa, underscored the predicament his defection poses for American and British authorities, who said on Tuesday that Scottish police and prosecutors planned to interview Mr Koussa about the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and other issues “in the next few days.”
Mr Koussa’s close knowledge of the ruling circle, which he is believed to be sharing inside a British safe house, could be invaluable in trying to strip Colonel Qaddafi of support.
But as the longtime Libyan intelligence chief and foreign minister, Mr Koussa is widely believed to be implicated in acts of terrorism and murder over the last three decades, including the assassination of dissidents, the training of international terrorists and the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. (...)
On Tuesday, Scotland’s Crown Office prosecutors said they had met with Foreign Office officials to discuss access to Mr Koussa. “Steps are being taken with a view to arranging a meeting with Mr Moussa Koussa at the earliest opportunity in the next few days,” the prosecutors said in a statement.
The British foreign secretary, William Hague, told Parliament on Monday that officials would “encourage” Mr Koussa “to co-operate fully with all requests for interviews with law enforcement and investigation authorities in relation both to Lockerbie as well as other issues stemming from Libya’s past sponsorship of terrorism and to seek legal representation where appropriate.”
In a BBC interview in Tripoli broadcast on Tuesday, one of Colonel Qaddafi’s son, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, charged that the British government had coerced Mr Koussa into speaking against the Qaddafi government.
“The British government said this: you have no immunity unless you cooperate,” Mr Qaddafi said. “He is sick, he is sick and old so if you put it this way — no immunity — of course I will come out with the funny stories.”
Brian P Flynn, a New Yorker whose brother, J P Flynn, died in the Lockerbie bombing, said the lifting of sanctions on Mr Koussa distressed him and other family members of the 270 victims. They have long believed that Mr Koussa had a role in ordering the bombing, and Scottish prosecutors have requested access to him.
“It’s all logical in the diplomatic game they need to play,” said Mr Flynn, vice president of Victims of Pan Am Flight 103. “But at what cost to our system of justice? He’s a mass-murder suspect.”
Administration officials hastened to say that dropping the sanctions, which were imposed on March 15, had no bearing on the investigation of any crimes that Mr Koussa might have committed in office. The American Lockerbie investigation has never been closed, and law enforcement officials said the FBI would like to talk with Mr Koussa.
[Because of duties at Gannaga Lodge (a virtually telecommunications-free area) it is unlikely that I shall be in a position to make further posts to this blog before Friday.]