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British officials to meet Libyan defector over Lockerbie

posted 3 Apr 2011, 06:03 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 3 Apr 2011, 06:05 ]

British Foreign Secretary William Hague says British officials will meet Scottish prosecutors to arrange a police interview with Libyan defector Moussa Koussa over the Lockerbie bombing.

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (APRIL 03, 2011) BBC ANDREW MARR SHOW - British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Sunday (April 03) British officials will meet Scottish prosecutors on Monday (April 04) to arrange a police interview with Libyan defector Moussa Koussa over the Lockerbie bombing.

The foreign secretary said there was no deal agreed between the British government with anyone from Gaddafi's regime, emphasising that those on British soil remain subject to UK law.

"No, there is no deal, let me be reassuring to people about that. The Prime Minister and I have made it clear there is no immunity from prosecution, there will be no immunity. He hasn't asked for that. There isn't a deal," Hague said.

Former Libyan foreign minister Koussa, an ex-spy chief for Muammar Gaddafi, fled to Britain from war-torn Libya on Wednesday (March 30) in a coup for Western governments who are backing rebel attempts to oust Gaddafi from power.

Families of some of the 270 people who died when Pan Am flight 103 exploded over the southern Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 have demanded that Koussa should be handed over to Scottish police immediately.

Scottish prosecutors have asked to question Koussa, who has been talking with British government officials in an undisclosed location this week.

"It is a good thing of course where the Crown Office in Scotland wish to talk to him about what has happened in the past, such as Lockerbie. Well then, my officials are discussing with the Crown Office tomorrow how to go about that. That is not a bad thing either, we want more information about past events," Hague added at an interview with the BBC.

Hague, who has spoken to Koussa, said he would update parliament on Monday (April 04) and try to give more details on the Libyan's defection and his meetings with UK officials.

The Scottish government, a devolved body, faced criticism for releasing the only person convicted for the bombing. Libyan Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was allowed to return home in 2009 because he was judged to be terminally ill with cancer.

Koussa is believed to have played a key role in the release of Megrahi, who is still alive.

Prime Minister David Cameron, in power since May 2010, has condemned Megrahi's release and criticised Britain's former Labour government for restoring diplomatic and trade ties with Libya in return for Gaddafi ending his pursuit of banned weapons.