Al Jazeera reports that Libya’s former foreign minister Moussa Koussa has arrived in the UK and begun cooperating with government officials, but thus far has not been granted any form of immunity under British law. Koussa could face prosecution and lawsuits in the UK resulting from his actions as part of the Gaddafi regime and former head of its intelligence services.
It is alleged that Koussa had a central role in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. The father of one passengers who died on Pan Am flight 103 welcomed Koussa’s defection to the UK in hopes that more will be revealed about the circumstances of the bomb plot.
The Libyan Foreign Minister’s defection was a “great day” for families of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing, according to one victim’s father. Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora, said Moussa Koussa was at the heart of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s government and “could tell us everything”. A total of 270 people died when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie in December 1988.
Koussa’s defection is seen as a major blow to the Gaddafi regime. According to Ibrahim El Mayet, a member of Libya British Relations Group, it is important to remember that until very recently Koussa was a member in good standing of Gaddafi’s inner circle and “has been implicated in many of the crimes and atrocities committed by the regime over the years”.
Jim Swire, the Lockerbie father describes Koussa, who he met on a visit to Libya in 1998, as “extremely frightening – more frightening than Gaddafi himself”.
Koussa was appointed Libya’s ambassador to the UK in 1980, but held that post for less than a year. He was expelled from the country when he announced that the Gaddafi regime intended to execute two Libyan dissidents for treason.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 9 million unique readers per month and serves more than 30 million pageviews.