Koussa expected to meet prosecutors this week

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The Independent Online

Prosecutors investigating the Lockerbie bombing are expected to meet Libyan defector Moussa Koussa later this week.

Police and prosecutors said steps were being taken to arrange the appointment with the former foreign minister "in the next few days".

Mr Koussa, who it is believed was an intelligence officer at the time of the 1988 atrocity, arrived in the UK last week after abandoning Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Scottish investigators are expected to question him over the bombing after discussions with Foreign Office officials yesterday.

A Crown Office spokesman said last night: "We can confirm that representatives of the Crown Office and Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary met with Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials to discuss the situation concerning Mr Moussa Koussa and specifically to discuss access to Mr Moussa Koussa.

"It was a very positive meeting and steps are being taken with a view to arranging a meeting with Mr Moussa Koussa at the earliest opportunity in the next few days."

Foreign Secretary William Hague said Foreign Office officials would encourage Mr Kusa to cooperate with investigators.

He told the Commons yesterday: "We will encourage Moussa Koussa to co-operate fully with all requests for interviews with law enforcement and investigation authorities in relation both to Lockerbie as well as other issues stemming from Libya's past sponsorship of terrorism and to seek legal representation where appropriate."

He added: "These investigations are entirely independent of government, they should follow the evidence wherever it leads them and the Government will assist them in any way possible."

Mr Koussa was head of Gaddafi's feared intelligence agency from 1994 and was a senior intelligence agent when PanAm flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie.

The Boeing 747 jumbo jet was en route from London to New York when it exploded over the Dumfriesshire town, killing 243 passengers, 16 crew and 11 residents.

Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi was jailed for mass murder in 2001 but was returned to Tripoli in 2009 on compassionate grounds after doctors treating him for prostate cancer gave him an estimated three months to live.

As well as the Lockerbie bombing, Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper has led calls for Mr Kusa to be quizzed in relation to the murder of PC Yvonne Fletcher, who was shot during a protest outside London's Libyan Embassy in 1984.

The Libyan defector has also been accused of helping to arm the IRA, another subject that could be broached by potential interrogators.

Mr Hague also told MPs the Government was supplying telecommunication equipment to Libya's opposition Interim Transitional National Council but is not providing arms to rebel forces.

He said the Government was prepared to provided "non-lethal equipment" to help protect civilians and deliver aid.

And as opposition fighters renewed efforts to win back the strategic oil town of Brega from the regime, Prime Minister David Cameron visited UK airmen involved in the Nato-led military operation.

On a surprise visit to the Italian airbase of Gioia del Colle, he told them they should be proud of their role in saving thousands of civilians from Gaddafi's repression.

And he announced that four more RAF Tornado warplanes would be committed within days to the operations over Libya, bringing to 22 the number of UK fast jets taking part.