Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Politicians linked to Lockerbie case return to court

[This is the headline over a report dated 15 October on the Zapaday website.  It reads as follows:]

The court case resumes for two former government officials working for the late Moammer Gaddafi's regime. They are accused of squandering public money by granting a compensation deal of $2.7 billion to the families of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing victims.

The accused, Mohammed Abu El-Gassem Yusuf al-Zwai and Abdulati Ibrahim Muhammad al-Obeidi, allegedly brokered this compensation deal in exchange for the lifting of UN sanctions and US trade sanctions on Libya. In addition, they requested that Libya be removed from a list of states known for sponsoring terrorism.

These two former senior officials are charged with treason for engaging in negotiations with the lawyers of the victims' families, with the full knowledge that lawyers are not authorised by the US administration to negotiate the conditions of trade sanctions and terrorism suspects.

The presiding judge has argued that the compensation deal was a waste of public money since there was no guarantee that the conditions would be met, nor that the charges for the bombing would be dropped. Observers have registered surprise at the wording of the charges. Given that Libya's central government is still weak after the ousting of Gaddafi, it has been argued that legal proceedings at the moment do not meet international standards.

However, it is evident that Libya's new rulers are keen to show citizens that those who helped Gaddafi cling to power shall be held accountable. Both Saif Al-Islam, Gaddafi's son and Abdullah Al- Senussi, Libya's former chief spy are awaiting trial.

[An earlier post on this blog relating to the trial of Messrs Zwai and Obeidi can be read here.]


  1. Presumably if the new government considers the payments an act of treason and therefore not legally made, they will be asking for their money back, particularly if they also deny Libyan responsibility for Lockerbie.

    Indeed the prosecutions are an implicit denial of Libyan responsibility for Lockerbie.

    If this happened, it would ‘reopen’ the Lockerbie Case in America and the US-NATO destruction of Libya would have been in vain?

  2. It is revealing that Libya had to officially negotiate compensation payments with lawyers, acting independently of the American government!

    This was done to keep the payments and the lifting of sanctions as officially separate issues.

    The payments were made, but with no legal deal that sanctions would be lifted.

    Sanctions were lifted, but as part of a separate process, after ‘Libya took responsibility for their officials’.

    This whole process was then spun as Libya taking responsibility for Lockerbie, when legally no such thing had occurred.