Libyans invite police to question Lockerbie suspects

SCOTTISH and American investigators have been invited to travel to Libya to interview two men named as suspects in the Lockerbie bombing.
The Pan Am jet near the town of Lockerbie in 1988 where it lay after a bomb aboard exploded. Picture: APThe Pan Am jet near the town of Lockerbie in 1988 where it lay after a bomb aboard exploded. Picture: AP
The Pan Am jet near the town of Lockerbie in 1988 where it lay after a bomb aboard exploded. Picture: AP

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland has issued an International Letter of Request to the Libyan attorney general which identifies the men as suspects in the bombing of flight Pan Am 103.

In an interview with the BBC, National Salvation spokesman Jamal Zubair said: “They can send some investigators, they come here to see those guys and see what they can do.

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“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.”

The Crown Office has refused to confirm the identities of the two suspects, but both men were named as possible suspects in an American TV documentary made by Ken Dornstein, whose brother died in the bombing.

Both men are serving prison sentences in Libya. 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.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi remains the only person convicted of the 1988 atrocity in which 270 people died.

Megrahi, who had terminal cancer, died in 2012 after being released from jail on compassionate grounds in 2009.

Mustafa Al-Glaib, the National Salvation government’s justice minister, sounded a note of caution about whether the new suspects would be extradited to face charges, however.

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Asked about extradition when speaking to the BBC, he said: ““It’s not for me as justice minister to say, it’s up to the general prosecutor. It’s too early to make a decision on this.

“In Libyan law, in international law, even in Scottish law we can’t accuse someone or start a case based on media reports. No country would readily hand over one of its citizens if there was no evidence. To do so, we need strong evidence, investigate that and take it to the courts.”

He added: “For me as justice minister and a former judge, it’s important to know the truth, but the truth according to international law. We are sorry and sympathise with all the world on this matter. I apologise to all the family victims. If Libya accepts this accusation, it was Colonel Gaddafi and his regime that was behind it.”

Last week the Crown Office confirmed it was seeking the assistance of the Libyan authorities for Police Scotland and the FBI to question the two suspects in Tripoli.

It followed a meeting between the lord advocate and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch in Washington to review the progress of the ongoing investigation.

The Crown said the two men were suspected of acting along with Megrahi in the bombing.

Responding to the latest comments from the government in Tripoli, a Crown Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the reports concerning the two Lockerbie suspects.

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