William Hague yesterday sought to play down concerns that the new Libyan government will refuse to hand over the man suspected of shooting WPC Yvonne Fletcher and the Lockerbie bomber.
The Foreign Secretary gave a series of interviews in which he said the leader of the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) had pledged to "cooperate fully" with the British authorities. The conflict in Libya has so far cost the British taxpayer an estimated £200m.
There have been renewed hopes in recent days that Yvonne Fletcher's family would finally secure justice, 27 years after she was shot outside the Libyan embassy in London, after junior diplomat Abdulmagid Salah Ameri was named as the suspected killer.
Reports yesterday suggested that Hassan al-Sagheer, a member of the TNC, had ruled out a British trial: "Libya has never extradited or handed over its citizens to a foreign country," he said. "We shall continue with this principle."
He reportedly also dismissed the possibility of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, returning to a UK prison.
Mr Hague said: "This is an ongoing police investigation so it is quite difficult for me to comment.
"I would say that when chairman (Mustafa Abdel) Jalil, the chairman of the TNC, was in London in May he committed himself and the council to co-operating fully with the British government on this issue."