Friday, 15 April 2011

Lockerbie and Libya: hide & seek

[This is the heading over another article from Ian Bell on his Prospero blog. It reads as follows:]

Alex Salmond says that Moussa Koussa, formerly Gaddafi’s head of intelligence, is merely a “potential witness” in the (still live) Lockerbie investigation, but not a suspect. Dear me, no.

As the First Minister explains it, had Moussa Koussa been a suspect, he would have been arrested. Since he has not been arrested...

This is almost as good, if you are in the mood, as William Hague’s assurance that at no time was the non-suspect offered immunity from prosecution after his defection. After all, if there was never any real intention to prosecute, why bother to talk about immunity?

Better still is the decision, at Britain’s prodding, to remove the non-immune non-suspect from the so-called EU watch list. This means he will henceforth be free to travel as his pleases, and that his assets will no longer be frozen.

Since Moussa Koussa is not suspected of anything, we can therefore conclude that assets lodged in Europe or the US were in no sense stolen from the Libyan people. Since he is free as a bird, it must also follow (forgetting Lockerbie) that he had no hand in arming the IRA, or in endorsing threats against the lives of exiled Libyans, or in the commission of a single crime during decades in Gaddafi’s service.

Brilliant. The Colonel is promised the International Criminal Court for numberless heinous acts, but his most notable henchman, a man with various bloodcurdling nicknames, did nothing at all.

For his reward, he gets to lay hands on enough money to enjoy his retirement in the pleasant climes of his choice, no questions – none whatsoever – asked.

Those climes will not include Britain, if reports (the Telegraph and others) are to be believed. As a British “official” has explained, since Moussa Koussa was never detained – no suspicion, no immunity, ergo no crimes – “It’s up to him”. There goes Salmond’s “potential witness”, delighted to have been of service.

Think of it this way. Let’s say a Mr X turns up in London. “Oh, yes,” he admits. “Member of al Qaeda I was, man and boy. Quite important I was, too, though I do say so myself. Some said I was bin Laden’s right-hand man. Not that I killed anyone, you understand, not personally. Now, are you sure there’s nothing you’d like to ask me?”

Meanwhile, our old friend Mustafa Abdul Jalil is back in business with a “sworn statement” – worth all the paper it was written on – to (oddly) the English Bar’s Human Rights Committee. Once again he offers to prove that, as to Lockerbie, Gaddafi did it, with Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi as his one and only instrument.

No proof as yet – yet again – however. Instead, the assertion, hardly a secret in any case, that the Colonel recompensed al-Megrahi with quantities of money. In Jalil’s previous version, as I recall, this was “a slush fund”, offered up not for lawyers and such, but under the threat that the lone agent would spill the beans.

If I follow Magnus Linklater in The Times, the unwitting folk from the Bar of England and Wales did not ask Libya’s former justice minister to reconcile his claims with problems – six of them – encountered by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review (SCCRC) Commission. Strange how that slips everyone’s mind.

But then, if the First Minister of Scotland hasn’t wondered why Moussa Koussa is not being detained for a view on the discrepancy, and if Hague is happy for the non-suspect to keep his memories of events and files to himself, the rest of us can only guess what the SCCRC was on about.

That seems to be the general idea.

[I wonder why it is that Ian Bell so often gets to the heart of an issue (not just Lockerbie and Megrahi) when other commentators are floundering or simply parroting the received wisdom or whatever it is that the establishment wants us to believe.]


  1. Wow!...fantastic stuff once again.

    Today's politicians are perfectly adept in presenting some calm contrived assurance in the place where principles and moral convictions to justice and truth once existed. We're instructed to adopt the mantle of crushing apathy, to dumb down with the best of them, and to splash our tootsie toes in the fountain of blind indifference.

    The litany of government deceit goes on, and really, why should anyone give a stuff?

  2. Yes excellent, a brilliant article.