[This is the headline over a report published this evening on The Telegraph website. It amplifies the AFP news agency report that was the subject of the immediately preceding blog post. The report reads in part:]
A former Libyan foreign minister has admitted the country was involved in the Lockerbie bombing but said for the first time it was part of a wider conspiracy.
The former minister, Abdul Rahman al-Shalgham, who was ambassador to the United Nations when he defected in February, revealed a new theory about who was responsible for the explosion on board Pan-Am Flight 103 in an interview with an Arabic newspaper.
"The Lockerbie bombing was a complex and tangled operation" he said, when asked to describe the background to the disaster.
"There was talk at the time of the roles played by states and organisations. Libyan security played a part but I believe it was not a strictly Libyan operation."
He went on to say that the compensation payment to the families he helped negotiate on behalf of the regime – while disclaiming responsibility – angered the Libyan leader, Col Muammar Gaddafi.
"He used to say, 'We had no role in Lockerbie, so why should we have to pay compensation'," Mr Shalgham said.
Two Libyan state employees were put on trial in The Hague [RB: Actually, of course, Camp Zeist, near Utrecht] under Scottish law for the bombing of Flight 103, in which 270 people died in 1988. One, Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, though he was released on medical grounds in 2009.
Libya always denied involvement, and alternative theories state that it was the work of Iranian intelligence, or a Palestinian terrorist group.
Mr Shalgham's revelations are the first serious suggestion that there could be elements of truth to both stories.
Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the former minister of justice who defected at the beginning of the uprising against the Gaddafi regime in February and is now chairman of the opposition Transitional National Council, claimed in an earlier interview that Col Gaddafi personally ordered the bombing.
But Mr Abdul Jalil was only involved in politics from 2007, having been a provincial judge most of his career. Mr Shalgham, by contrast, was Libyan ambassador to Rome at the time of the bombing and later at the heart of government.
[See my comment at the end of the preceding blog post.]