Libya minister defects

Bid to quiz Kusa over Lockerbie bomb

Scottish prosecutors today told the Foreign Office they want to interview Musa Kusa in connection with the Lockerbie bombing.





The Crown Office said prosecuting and investigating authorities want to speak to the former Libyan foreign minister over the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie.

A spokesman said: "We have notified the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the Scottish prosecuting and investigating authorities wish to interview Mr Kusa in connection with the Lockerbie bombing.

"The investigation into the Lockerbie bombing remains open and we will pursue all relevant lines of inquiry."

Libyan foreign minister Musa Kusa fled to the UK after deciding he was "no longer willing" to represent the dictator on the world stage.



Mr Kusa arrived at Farnborough Airport in Hampshire from Tunisia last night.

A key player in Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime, he previously acted as the country's representative in Britain.

He became Libya's foreign affairs minister in March 2009 having headed the Libyan intelligence agency from 1994 to 2009.

He was widely credited with persuading the dictator to reach an accommodation with the West and stop developing weapons and funding terrorism.

He is believed to have played a key role in securing the release of the only man convicted of the Lockerbie atrocity, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi - and is thought to hold vital information about the bombing.

The inquiry into the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 has remained open.

The Boeing 747 jumbo jet was en route from London to New York when it was blown out of the sky over the Dumfriesshire town. Some 243 passengers, 16 crew and 11 residents of the town were killed and debris from the aircraft was spread over 845 square miles between Lockerbie and the North Sea.

Megrahi was convicted at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands in 2001 but released from jail in August 2009 on compassionate grounds after the Scottish Government was told he had only three months to live.



Calls for Mr Kusa to be questioned over the bombing have been made throughout the day.

Conservative MP Robert Halfon, who has tabled several parliamentary motions on Lockerbie, said Mr Kusa "should be put in front of a British or international court for war crimes, if it is true that he was behind the Lockerbie bombing".

He added: "Anyone who was involved in any kind of crime in Libya - including Gaddafi himself - should not be allowed to go into exile but should be put on trial in an international court for war crimes."

Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the bombing, said he thought Mr Kusa "knows everything".

He said: "He was clearly running things. If Libya was involved in Lockerbie, he can tell us how they carried out the atrocity and why."

Conservative MP Patrick Mercer told the BBC News Channel that the authorities' first priority must be to question Mr Kusa "very carefully" for the wealth of military and diplomatic intelligence he possesses, as well as his understanding of the "heartbeat of the Gaddafi regime".

But he added: "What advantage he gives to us and to the rebels must be balanced by what he has done in the past.

"The fact remains that if this man has carried out crimes or been involved in criminal activity, then he must be brought to justice."

A Downing Street spokesman said the investigation into Lockerbie remained a matter for authorities in Scotland.

He said any decisions under the International Criminal Court process set up by UN Security Council Resolution 1970 were for the overseeing prosecutor.



Dumfries and Galloway Police said they remained "determined to pursue all relevant lines of inquiry".



Detective Superintendent Mickey Dalgliesh said: "Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary are aware that Crown Office have been in contact with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advising them that Scottish prosecuting and investigating authorities wish to interview Mr Kusa in connection with the Lockerbie bombing.



"This is in line with our position that the investigation into the Lockerbie bombing remains open and we are determined to pursue all relevant lines of inquiry."



Earlier today, Foreign Secretary William Hague said Mr Kusa "is not being offered any immunity from British or international justice".



He said he is "voluntarily talking" to British officials.



A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We can confirm that we have been informed by the Crown Office Serious and Organised Crime Division that they wish to speak to Mr Musa Kusa in relation to information that he may have regarding the Lockerbie bombing.



"As the Prime Minister has made clear we will respond to any request. The police are independent and should follow evidence wherever it takes them."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
REX/Eye Candy
science
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
i100
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
News
i100
News
In Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Jim Carrey and Kate Winslett medically erase each other from their memories
scienceTechnique successfully used to ‘reverse’ bad memories in rodents could be used on trauma victims
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Pixie Lott will take part in Strictly Come Dancing 2014, the BBC has confirmed
tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (C#, ASP.NET Developer, SQL, MVC, WPF, Real-Time F

£40000 - £48000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Devel...

C# Swift Payment Developer (C#, ASP.NET, .NET, MVC, Authorize.N

£45000 - £60000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Swift...

Front-End Developer (JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, C#, GUI)

£55000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Front-End Deve...

Graduate C# Developer (.NET, WPF, SQL, Agile, C++) - London

£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Graduate C# De...

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?