Monday, 29 August 2011

Disgraceful inaccuracy in Time magazine

[An article published today on the website of Time magazine contains the following:]

"We will not give any Libyan citizen to the West," the rebels' newly appointed Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi bluntly told reporters in Tripoli. "It was Gaddafi who handed over Libyan citizens." A member of the rebels' National Transitional Council (NTC), Libya's caretaker government, told the London Sunday Times that "Libya has never extradited or handed over its citizens to a foreign country."

That statement is not true. In reality, Gaddafi rewrote Libya's fortunes and his own by signing extradition orders for two Libyan citizens. In 1999 he sent al-Megrahi and another Libyan to the Netherlands to stand trial for mass murder in the Lockerbie bombing and paid $10 million to the family of each Lockerbie victim.

[Mr al-Alagi's statement is perfectly true. Gaddafi signed no "extradition orders" in respect of Megrahi and Fhimah. As I wrote in an earlier blog post:]

It should be noted that Libya did not extradite Megrahi and Fhimah for trial at Zeist, for exactly the reason set out above -- Libyan law (like that of many other countries) does not permit the extradition of its citizens for trial abroad. Megrahi and Fhimah voluntarily surrendered for trial, a decision that Megrahi at least must now bitterly regret.

[An article on Megrahi's situation published today on the website of The Tripoli Post can be read here.]

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