Sunday, 12 April 2015

Allowing Moussa Koussa to leave UK "betrayal" by Government

What follows is part of an item that appeared on this blog on this date in 2011:

Lockerbie families attack UK over Moussa Koussa travel plans

[This is the headline over a report just published on The Guardian website. It reads in part:]

Families of the victims of the Lockerbie bombing have accused the British government of "betrayal" after it allowed Moussa Koussa, the former Libyan foreign minister, to leave the UK to attend an international conference.

Koussa, who defected to Britain at the end of last month, was en route to Doha in Qatar on Tuesday, where an international conference on the future of Libya is to be held with representatives from the Benghazi-based opposition.

He is expected to return to the UK after the conference, but is free to travel as he pleases.

Brian Flynn, the brother of JP Flynn, who died in the 1988 attack and now organises the Victims of Pan Am 103 Incorporated campaign group in New York, said the UK authorities had "crossed a line" by allowing Koussa to attend the conference and thereby suggest he is a peace negotiator rather than, as they believe, a key instigator of the bombing.

"I think the British are being played by him … he has convinced them he can be valuable in this process, but he is not the suave diplomat in the suit sitting on the sidelines, he is one of the key guys who masterminded [the bombing of] Pan Am flight 103," Flynn said.

"He is a stated enemy of the British government. Our feeling is that the British government gave a nod to Lockerbie by questioning him two days before this conference, but that feels disingenuous. The Scottish and American prosecutors on Lockerbie are being betrayed by the politicians and the diplomats. Cameron has been good on Libya, but this sounds an awful lot like Tony Blair is back in charge."

Flynn's organisation, the largest victims' group in the US, seeks to discover the truth behind the bombing and win justice for those who died. He said the families believed the decision to allow Koussa to travel to the meeting in Qatar was part of a British strategy to encourage other defectors to flee to Britain from Gaddafi's regime, as there was no way either the rebels or the regime would trust him as an intermediary.

"He blatantly betrayed the Libyan regime and for more than 25 years he betrayed the Libyan people, so why is this the guy we are sending [to the talks]?" said Flynn.

Koussa is said to be travelling to Doha in order to establish whether he has a role to play in the rebel movement along with other senior defectors from the Gaddafi regime – perhaps by brokering a deal between Tripoli and Benghazi. (...)

Jean Berkley, co-ordinator of the UK Families Flight 103 group, who lost her 29-year old son Alistair when the Pan Am flight was blown up in mid-air, said she was mystified by the decision to let Koussa travel.

"It is very unexpected," she said. "Is he the basis of a new Libyan opposition, or what? He doesn't seem a very suitable person. Our aim is always to get more of the truth and we want a full public inquiry. Koussa must have some interesting knowledge. It is hard to know what to make of it. We will wait and see and watch with interest."

[A report on the CBS News website reads in part:]

Libya's former Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa is traveling to Qatar to share his insight on the workings of Muammar Qaddafi's inner circle, a British government official said Tuesday.

Koussa has been asked to attend the conference on Libya being held in Doha as a valuable Qaddafi insider, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

MI6 agents stopped questioning Koussa last week, according to the official. Koussa had been staying in a safehouse until late Monday night, according to Noman Benotman, an ex-member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and relative of Koussa who has been in regular contact with the former foreign minister since he fled to Britain.

Although Koussa was provided with legal advice, Benotman said he believed he had "cleared most of the legal hurdles in the UK" surrounding his alleged involvement in the Lockerbie bombing and arming the IRA.

Britain's Foreign Office confirmed the trip in a statement Tuesday, saying that Koussa was "traveling today to Doha to meet with the Qatari government and a range of other Libyan representatives."

The statement added that Koussa was "a free individual, who can travel to and from the UK as he wishes."

1 comment:

  1. Regrettably the US relatives haven't a clue what their government and the British government have been involved in over the last thirty years, both within and fringing on the Lockerbie issue. The reason Koussa has been treated so leniently is simple: In Mafia terms, he knows where the CIA and MI6 bodies are buried. And that makes him a "friend" of the West, just as Gaddafi was (for a time) and Saddam Hussein was for a number of years. And there are others of a similar ilk. Evil writ large. No other word for it.