Gaddafi tries to halt tighter sanctions

COLONEL Muammar Gaddafi has attempted one of his notorious charm offensives towards the West, in the apparent hope of staving off further sanctions due to come into effect if he continues to refuse to hand over the two Libyan suspects in the Lockerbie bombing.

The Colonel said the two men would be prepared to stand trial in Scotland or the United States if Britain and the US agreed to restore diplomatic relations with Tripoli. 'When those two people find their country has established diplomatic relationships with these countries, this would give them more confidence to go,' he told Scottish television.

He also praised the leaders of Britain and America. President Bill Clinton had shown courage in trying to help resolve the dispute, and John Major 'is not aggressive. He does not have a colonial mentality and his personality is completely different from that of Thatcher'.

The language is almost identical to that used by the Colonel in 1991 as he grew increasingly edgy in the run-up to the indictment of the two Libyan agents suspected in the bombing - Abdel Baset Ali Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah - which led to the existing sanctions.

Yesterday the Scottish Crown Office confirmed that a leading Scottish defence lawyer and Labour peer had travelled to Brussels for what was reported to be a meeting with representatives of the two suspects. The Scotsman said Lord Macaulay, Labour's spokesman on Scottish legal affairs, had given the Libyans secret guarantees that the two would not be handed to the US if they stood trial in Scotland.

The reported assistance from Lord Macaulay comes as Colonel Gaddafi is trying to find a new Western lawyer. Last month Abe Sofaer, formerly a top legal adviser to the Reagan administration, dropped Libya as a client following negative publicity. Mr Sofaer was particularly well- placed for the job: in 1986 he produced the legal justification for the US air raid against Tripoli, and then helped draw up the plan for the US economic embargo against Libya. He resigned his Libya commission after only a few days in the job.

President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, who has laboured fruitlessly for the past 18 months to resolve the stand-off between Libya and the West, yesterday left Tripoli saying new sanctions would be ill-advised. 'Extending or stiffening the sanctions against Libya will not resolve the problem,' he said. He was pursuing contacts with all parties involved to seek 'a satisfactory solution for all'.

The UN has warned it will impose assets and oil technology- related sanctions - in addition to the existing arms embargo and ban on flights to Libya - if the two are not handed over by 1 October. The Foreign Office said yesterday the Security Council resolutions were 'not negotiable' and Libya was 'required to comply fully with them'.

The explosion on board Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988 killed 270 people.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor winner Ben Haenow has scored his first Christmas number one
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
news
News
The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
video
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
music
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

Recruitment Genius: Telesales & Customer Service Executives - Outbound & Inbound

£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...

Recruitment Genius: National Account Manager / Key Account Sales

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...

Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Consultant

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick