[This is the headline over a report in today’s edition of The Herald. The following is an excerpt:]
Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland travelled to Libya in April to meet Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib and pave the way for the new Lockerbie inquiry, announced last autumn.
A statement from the Crown Office said: "We note the position in relation to the extradition of Senussi to Libya and we will continue to liaise with our colleagues in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as well as the Libyan authorities, to pursue all available lines of inquiry."
It would not be drawn on whether active steps were being made to interview Senussi, who has been accused of crimes against humanity – including murder and persecution – by the International Criminal Court.
[The Scotsman’s report contains the following:]
(...) his trial may also make some feel uncomfortable – he may reveal the details of the rapprochement brokered during the famous “meeting in the desert” between Gaddafi and former prime minister Tony Blair in 2004, which saw international sanctions lifted.
Senussi will also have the answers to what part Abdulbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, who died in Tripoli earlier this year, played in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing – and will be able to answer questions about whether the deal to send Megrahi back to Libya was linked to concessions for British oil companies.
[The following are excerpts from the report in The Times (behind the paywall):]
Western diplomats said the Libyan Government would also face inquiries from Britain, the US and France over al-Senussi’s knowledge of international crimes linked to the Gaddafi regime.
These include the bombing of Pan Am Flight 174 over Lockerbie, the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher and the bombing of a French airliner over Niger in 1989 — for which al-Senussi was convicted in absentia by a French court. (...)
A British Foreign Office spokesman said last night: “There are a number of open UK police investigations in relation to the activities of the Gaddafi regime. The police will follow the evidence wherever it leads and we will continue to provide them what support we can. The Libyan authorities are in no doubt of the importance the UK attaches to seeing progress made on these investigations.”
[The report in The Independent contains the following:]
The French government has already sentenced Mr Senussi to life imprisonment after a case heard in absentia, involving the shooting down of a UTA airliner over Niger in 1989 in which 170 people were killed. It has also been claimed that he was involved in the destruction of the Pan Am flight over Lockerbie.
However, Libya became a staunch ally of the West against Islamists following the rapprochement with Gaddafi led by the US and UK, and Mr Senussi will have details of co-operation which could cause embarrassment on both sides of the Atlantic if aired publicly.
Abdul Hakim Belhaj, a former head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is currently suing the British Government and senior officials in this country over his rendition to Libya.
Earlier this year, US House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who led a delegation to the region, said Washington had a "particular interest" in seeing Mr Senussi arrested "because of his role with the Lockerbie bombing".
There are, however, doubts over Libyan culpability in the attack, with strong feeling among many close to the case that Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was wrongly convicted of the bombing.
[A report in the Daily Telegraph can be read here.]