Libyan expelled after Fletcher death seeks asylum – back in Britain


A former Libyan official who was deported from this country after the killing of Wpc Yvonne Fletcher, and who has been accused of embezzling a vast sum by the new administration in Tripoli, is seeking asylum in Britain.

Saleh Ibrahim Mabrouk was expelled after the shooting of the policewoman in 1984 after the Home Office concluded that his presence "was not conducive to the public good". The ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) in Libya are claiming that he fled with $200m days before rebel forces swept into the capital.

Abdulhamid El-Jedi, part of a team investigating public corruption on behalf of the NTC, claimed that the money was intended for the hiring of mercenaries in the Balkans to support Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Dr Ibrahim was allowed back into the UK during a period of rapprochement between Colonel Gaddafi and the West, soon after the Libyan regime had agreed to the extradition of the suspects for the Lockerbie bombing. He has been living in southern England since the revolution in Libya.

It is believed that in his asylum application the former dean of Tripoli's Academy of Higher Education states that he faces torture if he went back to Libya and points out that prisoners linked to the fallen regime, including Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the dictator's son are being held without trial. The UN and human rights groups estimate that around 7,000 detainees are being held, some in private jails, many of them subjected to mistreatment.

Dr Ibrahim denies receiving any public money or links with the regime, although he was once a senior member of the Revolutionary Committees, Al Ejanalghoria, which propagated Colonel Gaddafi's view.

He acknowledges visiting Serbia and Croatia, but insists it was to help negotiate a peace accord to stop the bloodshed. He told the BBC's File on 4 programme "I challenge them if I even have $20,000 let alone the $200m they are talking about. Let them produce proof. They haven't caught me withdrawing cash from a bank or in an airport with cash on me."

Dr Ibrahim was identified by a civilian contractor for the Metropolitan Police as warning of violence on the day of the shooting of WPC Fletcher. Police officers were told of the threat but it was ignored. Dr Ibrahim was, however, subsequently arrested.

Last year The Independent interviewed Omar Ahmed Sodani, a suspect in the Fletcher shooting, in Benghazi after his arrest by revolutionary fighters.

Mr Sodani, another senior Revolutionary Committee officer, denied responsibility for the death. Asked who had carried out the shooting if it was not him, he said "This is something I want to only talk to the police about." But then he added "There were three names which came up. Two were students, both called Saleh, and the third person was a diplomat, Abdul Gader.