Tuesday 22 August 2023

Libyan PM meets family of Lockerbie suspect

[This is the headline over a report published today on the Libya Review website. It reads as follows:]

On Monday, the Prime Minister of the Libyan Parliament-designated government, Osama Hammad met with the family of Lockerbie bombing suspect Abu Ajila Masoud Al-Marimi.

The Libyan national was a former intelligence officer. The Tripoli-based Government of National Unity (GNU) has handed over Masoud to the US administration, a move that was criticised across the country.

Hammad, along with members of the Libyan Parliament held a meeting with Masoud’s family, to discuss the latest updates regarding his extradition case and its merits.

During the meeting, Hammad expressed a firm stance against the “cowardly” extradition process executed against a Libyan citizen. The operation represents a clear violation of Libyan sovereignty.”

The PM emphasized that “this process was conducted by the US administration, with the complicity of the outgoing government, disregarding the rights of Libyan citizens shamefully.”

Furthermore, Hammad underscored the “importance of foreign countries respecting Libyan law, and highlighted the necessity of ensuring justice in the event of any accusations against a Libyan citizen.”

He affirmed that the Libyan judiciary is competent to address charges against its citizens, within Libyan territory.

The Prime Minister assured the family of Al-Marimi that the government “remains fully committed to staying updated on the developments of the case.”

Moreover, the government will “cover all the costs associated with a specialized law firm that will carefully examine the case, working towards the safe return of Abu Ajila to his family, and homeland.”

In June, the family of Abu Ajila Masoud raised concern over his deteriorating health, noting that he has recently been hospitalized due to multiple chronic illnesses.

Abdel Moneim Al-Marimi, a nephew of Abu Ajila, added the Libyan intelligence operative is set to appear before the court in October. Yet, he expressed grave concern over the lack of a defence team assigned to Abu Ajila’s case so far.

He explained that they are “unable to afford the fees of the legal team. We hired a new lawyer, at our own expense, other than the one assigned to follow up the case, to obtain information about the next session.”

Al-Marimi stated, “The US authorities have transferred Abu Ajila to a hospital. Regrettably, no family member has been able to make the trip to the US to be by his side.”

He also mentioned that Abu Ajila’s court hearing, related to the Lockerbie case, has been postponed until October.

Masoud, 71, could appear before US courts without an attorney, his family confirms. They noted that all parties that vowed to pay the costs of the legal team paid nothing and abandoned their pledges and promises.

Masoud’s family recently issued a statement denouncing the silence of the GNU, for not cooperating in knowing the fate of the Libyan citizen, as he is suffering from a chronic disease.

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