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23 February 2011

Libya's ex-Justice minister: Kadhafi personally ordered Lockerbie Pan Am bombing

Agence France-Presse (newswire, France)
Wednesday 23 February 2011

Kadhafi ordered 

Lockerbie bombing,
ex-minister reveals

STOCKHOLM -- Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing in 1988, former justice minister Mustapha Abdeljalil told Swedish daily Expressen, the paper reported on its website Wednesday.

"I have proof that Kadhafi gave the order on Lockerbie," said the minister, who stepped down Monday to protest the ongoing violence in Libya.

Libyan national Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi was in 2001 convicted of the bombing of Pan AM Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on 21 December
1988 that killed 270 people, most of them Americans.

But Scottish authorities, who have power over their own judicial affairs, released Megrahi, 58, on compassionate grounds in August 2009 after doctors said he was suffering from terminal cancer and had three months to live.

His release and subsequent hero's return to Tripoli drew a furious response from many, and outrage in the United States has been stoked by the fact that he remains alive almost a year and a half after his release.

According to Abdeljalil, Kadhafi "ordered Megrahi to do it (the bombing)," and had worked hard to secure his release to ensure that his role in the plot remained secret.

"To hide it, he did everything in his power to get Megrahi back from Scotland," the former minister said.

Expressen said its reporter Kassem Hamade, who is currently in Libya, had conducted a 40-minute interview with Abdeljalil at "the local parliament in a large city."

Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved.

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