الجمعة , يونيو 12 2020

Lockerbie suspects ‘can be interviewed’

Mohammed Abouajela Masud and Abdullah al-SenussiImage copyright
Reuters/BBC

Image caption

Mohammed Abouajela Masud and Abdullah al-Senussi were named as suspects

Scottish and American investigators have been invited to travel to Libya to question two new suspects in the Lockerbie bombing.

Mohammed Abouajela Masud and Abdullah al-Senussi were named last week.

The offer to speak to the men came from a spokesman for the National Salvation government in Libya.

It controls the capital, Tripoli, and large parts of the rest of the country, but is not recognised by the international community.

National Salvation government spokesman Jamal Zubair told the BBC: “They can send some investigators, they come here to see those guys and see what they can do.

“Always we are very helpful, we want to talk to people and we want to show what we have.

“We might have more evidence about other people or maybe those guys have more information about something else, might help you.”

Media captionAs John Simpson reports, there is still uncertainty in Libya

Families of some of the 270 people who died in the Lockerbie bombing had welcomed the naming of the new suspects.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is the only person to have been convicted over the bombing of Pan Am 103 in 1988.

The plane was on its way from London to New York on 21 December when it exploded above Lockerbie.

A total of 270 people died in the bombing, including everyone on board the plane and 11 people from the Scottish town.

Megrahi, who was found guilty of mass murder and jailed for a minimum of 27 years, died in 2012 after being released from jail on compassionate grounds in 2009. He had terminal cancer.

Rival factions

A spokesman for the Crown Office said they are aware of the reports concerning the two Lockerbie suspects.

He added: “The Crown will continue to work with the British Embassy as well as colleagues in the United States regarding the investigation.”

Media captionMustafa Al-Glaib , justice minister for the government that runs most of Libya, says “strong evidence” is needed if the new Lockerbie suspects are to be extradited

Both of the newly identified suspects are currently serving prison sentences in Libya, which is in chaos as rival factions fight for control of the country.

Senussi, who was sentenced to death in July, is appealing the verdict. He was the brother-in-law and intelligence chief of former Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi.

Masud is reported to be serving a prison sentence for bomb-making.

Both men were named as possible suspects by an American TV documentary last month.

Documentary maker Ken Dornstein’s brother David died in the Lockerbie bombing.

He told the BBC’s Today programme: “We went in with a list of names that had come from the original investigation, pulled out of the tens of thousands of pages of documents. I established many were dead or missing. Ultimately, I concluded there may be three people left.”

On Masud, Mr Dornstein added: “Figuring out simply that he existed would solve many of the unanswered questions to the bombing because he was attached to Megrahi according to the best information there was, including at the airport in Malta on the day that the bomb was said to have been infiltrated into the baggage system and ultimately on to Flight 103.”

Megrahi’s part in the bombing has been called into question in a series of books and documentaries.


Lockerbie bombing: Key dates

Image copyright
AP

Image caption

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is the only person to be convicted of the bombing

  • 21 December 1988: Pan Am Flight 103 from London to New York explodes over Lockerbie, killing 270 people
  • 31 January 2001: Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is found guilty of mass murder and jailed for life
  • 20 August 2009: Megrahi, who has terminal cancer, is released from prison on compassionate grounds, and returns to Libya
  • 20 May 2012: Megrahi dies at home in Tripoli, aged 60
  • 15 October 2015: Scottish prosecutors request permission from Libya to interview two new suspects

Key developments in Lockerbie bombing case


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