Wednesday, 1 April 2015

"A witness, not a suspect"

[On this date in 2011 the media in the UK were still salivating over the arrival of Moussa Koussa. What follows is taken from a report in the Daily Mirror:]

Outraged relatives of Lockerbie victims yesterday called for Libyan “monster” Musa Kusa to be put on trial for mass murder.

They fear the former head of Colonel Gaddafi’s brutal secret service is trying to cheat justice and save his own skin in exchange for helping to topple the tyrant’s crumbling regime.

Kusa was being given the kid-gloves treatment last night as he was questioned by MI5 at a safe house in London after defecting to Britain.

And MI6, which operates abroad, is talking to at least six others about making the same move after David Cameron urged them to bail out while they still can.

But there is growing fury at the prospect of Kusa being let off the hook.

He is believed to have masterminded the 1988 strike on Pan Am Flight 103, which killed 259 passengers and another 11 people on the ground.

The ex-intelligence chief is also suspected of involvement in arming the IRA and holds vital information on the 1984 shooting of PC Yvonne Fletcher outside Libya’s London Embassy.

Frank Duggan, who represents relatives of Lockerbie victims said: “This man is a monster, a murderer. He was no longer inside Gaddafi’s inner circle and had nowhere else to go so he jumped ship.”

He said Britain already had a “dirty bib” for allowing Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi to return home to a life of luxury in Libya.

And he warned that the same must not happen to Kusa, adding: “This guy has a lot of blood on his hands. Once they have pumped him for information they should put him on trial either in Scotland or the US.” [RB: Rather naughty of the Daily Mirror not to specify that the only relatives that Frank Duggan -- not himself a relative -- represented were US, not UK, relatives. A report in The Herald, as might be expected from a serious newspaper, does make this clear.]

Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the bombing, said last night he had asked his lawyers to try to fix a meeting for him with Kusa. He added: “Kusa knows everything about it.

“He was clearly running things. If Libya was involved in Lockerbie, he can tell us how they carried out the atrocity and why.” ­Scottish prosecutors and police yesterday confirmed they want to quiz Kusa over the bombing.

David Cameron insisted officers would get the chance – and claimed no deal had been done over the defector’s future.

He said: “The decision by the former Libyan Foreign Minister to come to London and resign his position is a decision by someone right at the very top. It tells a compelling story of the desperation and fear right at the top of the crumbling and rotten Gaddafi regime.” But he added: “Let me be clear, Musa Kusa is not being granted immunity, there’s no deal. Police should follow their evidence wherever it leads.”

Whitehall sources say it will be some time before police get to see Kusa and suggest that even then he could be treated as a witness, not a suspect.

[RB: Abdelbaset al-Megrahi would have been 63 today.]


  1. Sixty-three. No age at all these days. But he's been dead for nearly three years.

    Over ten years in jail, but the whole thing hanging over him since he was about 39. Not released until he was so far gone in terminal illness that he couldn't do much or enjoy much. It's a big chunk of your life to lose.

    Some people will think, what does it matter, he was only an Arab. Which is appalling. People are people. And it doesn't only happen to Arabs, or in Scotland. The entire human race's idea of justice seems arbitrary, flawed and expedient.

    1. I rarely disagree with Rolfe. This is not one of those occasions. Khaled has marked the occasion on Facebook and many have supported him.

    2. Still no joy trying to get the SCCRC to recognise Khaled as supporting the application?