LIBYA’S former justice minister has claimed that he has evidence that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing.
Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, who resigned his cabinet post this week because he opposed the violent crackdown on protesters, told a Swedish newspaper that the instruction to bomb Pan Am Flight 103 had come from the very top. “I have proof that Gaddafi gave the order about Lockerbie,” he said to a journalist on Expressen
American relatives of the Lockerbie victims hailed the news as vindication of their long-held belief that the Libyan leader was behind the massacre. Many demanded that he be tried in a US court if and when he falls. “How could it not have been Gaddafi?” asked Susan Cohen, whose daughter, Theodora, died in the attack.
Frank Duggan, who is president of a group for victims, said he too had always thought the leader had orchestrated the bombing. “He controls everything that happens in that country, or at least he did until recently.”
Only one man, Abdul Baset Ali al-Megrahi, has been convicted of the bombing. All 243 passengers and 16 crew members on the flight from London to New York were killed, along with 11 people on the ground.
The Scottish Government released al-Megrahi in 2009 on compassionate grounds after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was given months to live but is still alive in Libya. Mr Abdel-Jalil did not deny al-Megrahi’s guilt but said Colonel Gaddafi had asked him to carry out the attack. “To hide it, he [Gaddafi] did everything in his power to get al-Megrahi back from Scotland,” Mr Abdel-Jalil added.
Damian Collins, the British Conservative MP who held a parliamentary debate on Lockerbie last month, said: “We will finally get insight into the decisions that led to his release.”