[An Agence France Presse news agency report published earlier this morning contains the following:]
Scottish officials investigating the Lockerbie bombing will interview defected Libyan foreign minister Mussa Kussa within "the next few days", the country's Crown Office confirmed Monday.
Scottish detectives and prosecutors met with officials from the Foreign Office (FCO) officials earlier Monday after making a formal request to speak to Kussa about the 1988 incident last week.
"We can confirm that representatives of the Crown Office and Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary met with FCO officials this afternoon to discuss the situation concerning Kussa and specifically to discuss access to Kussa," a spokesman for the Scottish government department said.
"It was a very positive meeting and steps are being taken with a view to arranging a meeting with Kussa at the earliest opportunity in the next few days," added the spokesman.
[A report in today's edition of The Scotsman reads in part:]
Libyan defector and former secret service chief Moussa Koussa will be "encouraged" to speak to Scottish police and prosecutors about the Lockerbie bombing, William Hague has said. (...)
They met Foreign and Commonwealth officials yesterday and have been given assurances he will be encouraged to assist them.
However, speaking in the House of Commons, Foreign Secretary Mr Hague made is clear that Mr Koussa would not be detained or forced by the UK government to talk to investigators against his will.
"Moussa Koussa is not being offered any immunity from British or international justice," he said. "He is not detained by us and has taken part in discussions with officials since his arrival, of his own free will.
"We will encourage Moussa 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." He went on to say there was "insufficient evidence to produce further prosecutions, but that may change in future".
Dumfries and Galloway Police and the Crown Office were unable to comment last night, as talks were still on going.
The former Libyan foreign secretary is thought to have taken over the ESO, his country's security service, at least two years after the explosion which brought down the Pan Am Flight 103, killing 270 people, on 21 December, 1988.
[The Herald's report can be read here. A letter from Iain Stuart in today's edition of the same newspaper reads as follows:]
Moussa Koussa may, in time, prove to be a source of reliable and truthful evidence in relation to Libya’s involvement in the Lockerbie bombing.
Mrs J Greenhorn (Letters, April 4) does right to bring attention back to the report of the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC), the suppression of which is an affront to justice. The public is entitled to know why the SCCRC concluded the conviction of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi may have been unsafe – and why key players seem not to want its report published.
An informative, independent report already exists. Compiled by the late investigative journalist Paul Foot, Lockerbie – The flight from justice sets out the unsatisfactory nature of much of the investigation and criminal trial, and points almost inescapably to the injustice of Megrahi’s conviction.