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Lockerbie ordered by Qaddafi: Swedish paper
Photo: Scanpix (file)

Lockerbie ordered by Qaddafi: Swedish paper

Published: 23 Feb 2011 16:07 GMT+01:00
Updated: 23 Feb 2011 18:11 GMT+01:00

Colonel Muammar Qaddafi ordered the 1988 terror attack that downed a Pan Am airliner over Lockerbie in Scotland, the Libyan leader's former justice minister told a Swedish reporter on Wednesday.

"I have evidence that Qaddafi gave the orders for Lockerbie," Mustafa Abdel-Jalil told a reporter for Swedish tabloid Expressen who is currently stationed in Libya.

Until Monday, Abdel-Jalil served as minister of justice to Qaddafi, but resigned in protest "over the excessive use of violence against government protesters" he is quoted as telling the privately-owned Quryna newspaper.

According to Abdel-Jalil, his former boss gave the orders to carry out the Lockerbie bombing, which claimed the lives of 259 people on board Pan Am Flight 103 as well 11 people in the Scottish village below.

Among those killed in the bombing was Swedish diplomat Bernt Carlsson, who was serving in the United Nations at the time.

Following a lengthy probe involving Scotland Yard and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as well as other agencies, investigators concluded that the bomb had been placed on the plane by two Libyan nationals working for the country's intelligence services.

In 1991, charges were filed against Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer and the head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines (LAA), as well as Lamin Khalifah Fhimah, a Malta-based LAA station manager.

Following lengthy negotiations, Qaddafi agreed to hand over the two suspects to Scottish police in 1999 so they could stand trial in the Netherlands.

Although neither man chose to testify, al-Megrahi was convicted of murder in January 2001 by a panel of Scottish judges, while Fhimah was acquitted.

In 2003, Megrahi appealed his conviction and in 2009 he was released from prison on humanitarian grounds because he was said to be suffering from cancer.

According to Abdel-Jalil, Qaddafi worked hard to ensure that al-Megrahi was released.

"In order to hide it, he did everything in his power to get al-Megrahi back from Scotland," the former Libyan minister told Expressen.

"He (Qaddafi) gave the order to al-Megrahi to do it."

While admitting it was difficult to verify Abdel-Jalil's account, Aron Lund, an editorial writer with the Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT) newspaper who has also written reports on the Middle East for Swedish Institute of International Affairs (Utrikespolitiska institutet -- UI), said there is reason to believe what the former justice minister has to say about Qaddafi's role in the Lockerbie bombing.

"When you have a dictatorhship with an extremely centralised power structure like Qaddafi's, it's safe to assume that any such decision was taken at the highest level," he told The Local.

"At the same, considering Al Jeleil just left the regime, there may be a credibility issue. It could be that these sorts of leaks from former members of the regimes are more about distancing themselves from Gadaffi as than revealing the truth."

The full interview with Abdel-Jalil, which was conducted on Wednesday and reportedly lasted 40 minutes, is to be published on Thursday in Expressen's print edition.

The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:42 February 23, 2011 by truthworthy
Well now is the chance to put this terrorist behind bars. He has lost the control of the country and now there is evidence he has been involved in massacring innocent people in Libya and Westerners. I know the west does not care about Libyans but they do about their people, so get Gadafi now and hang him.
17:21 February 23, 2011 by Gletta
So how many more of the former regime will now come out with anything to save their own skins or to try to enlist 'western help' in ridding the country of Qaddafi?
18:01 February 23, 2011 by Tusker
Good observation @ Gletta

Why has the scum bag "Justice"Minister only spoken out now? Could it possibly be that he was enjoying the "sweet life"too much before. What "Justice"was there in Libya when he was the Minister? What does he have to answer for?

Still, like all the other parasitic vermin that support Dictators, he has probably befriended enough opportunist western politicians, over the years, to ensure he has the right contacts to get himself a cushy job in a University as a resident ëxpert", do the TV political talk shows or get a role as an ädviser' to western companies, drooling about the future opportunities to be had. It's sickening.
19:04 February 23, 2011 by countrysidedrive
Incredible. The courts proved that Libya's government had a Libyan kill all those people. Everyone knew it. Everyone. Greedy and immoral people still did business with Libya. And we wonder why the world is so messed up. Its the golden rule again. Those with the gold make the rules. And they don't give a damn about anyone or anything else but profit, money. I love money like anyone but at any cost. Not on my life or on any others life.
21:15 February 23, 2011 by UScitizen
Here's an interesting story about Sweden and what Swedes and the rest of the European community are afraid of right now....

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41534380/ns/world_news-europe
21:31 February 23, 2011 by StockholmSam
Tusker's view can be convincing, but think about the fact that the guy probably had a family and there was a constant threat of death for all of them if there were any hint that he might turn on the regime and release info linking Qaddafi to Lockerbie. Besides, unless we have walked in the shoes of a desperate man in a dangerous land, it is tough to be sure we would do things differently. Harsh circumstances call for harsh decisions. Not excusing the man, just sayin'...
22:08 February 23, 2011 by Carbarrister
Besides, unless we have walked in the shoes of a desperate man in a dangerous land, it is tough to be sure we would do things differently.

If we walked in his shoes they would have been worn out and replaced many times over. I am willing to be judgmental. His convenient disclosure does not free him of culpability. It is like a crook offering up a bigger fish in order to get a plea bargain. He should be looking at jail time - maybe it is good that Gitmo is still open.
23:02 February 23, 2011 by Swedish Meatbulls
Have I missed something?? Qaddafi not Gaddafi? Can anyone explain?

What ever I hope the Mad man goes soon,
23:33 February 23, 2011 by Tusker
@Stockholm Sam. I respect your caution, if we are looking at a normal family man caught up in an ugly situation, having to compromise his values to ensure his family doesn't get sucked into harm's way. This factor is often considered when looking at ethical behaviour, within crisis situations. I have spent many years serving in different conflict zones, around the world, so I recognise that these are often not simple black and white issues. People often carry guilt and shame for actions taken by them, in a moment of madness or fear, or often just as painful, by not taking the expected actions, demanded by the standards of any enlightened or civilized society, when encountering situations which demand intervention.

But this scum bag is different. As the Justice Minister for the regime he actively participated in the extra judicial activities of a murderous regime, even before the current reported incidents of genocide and crimes against his own people. This regime is known to have murdered protesting students by way of public hangings on lamp posts and the murder of unarmed prisoners, in their hundreds, whilst these political prisoners were already under arrest/custody.If you seriously believe that you could find real justice in Libya, then I promise to let you see the fairies at the end of my garden.

As @ Gallet observed, this vermin is only now providing this information, to try and distance himself from his previous actions, and save his ass.The appropriate place for him to air his views and discuss his knowledge of Gaddafis crimes, is not within a Swedish Newspaper, but the International Tribunal in the Hague. Regarding the charming Colonel himself, the click of a safety catch, being released, should be the last thing that psycho gets to hear.
02:54 February 24, 2011 by GlenCoe
Tusker,

This is my first post here, I have Swedish friends but I'm Scottish and have followed this case closely and agree with your stated opinions. I would like your appraisal of the newspapersThe Local, Upsala Nya Tidning, and Expressen.

I don't find this Libyan Justice Ministers claims credible. He claims Gadaffi tried all he could to free Al Megrahi, which he did, but he claims that this was to protect himself. Gadaffi was under no threat from Al Megrahis imprisonment, as Al Meghrahi inisisted on on his/their innocence until the Scottish Justice Minister made it clear that Al Megrahi could only be freed if he dropped his appeal. Gaddafi had nothing to fear from Al Megraghis continued imprisonment except 'loss of face' so why would Abdel-Jalil lie about that?

I believe Abdel-Jalil is a liar, protecting his own life by making himself valuable to the CIA in a previous cover-up. Please, for the victims of Lockerbie, keep up your own investigations.
05:46 February 24, 2011 by Harryx
Everyone except our "free" media and "governments" knew Qaddafi was responsible for the murder of all on the Lockerbie plane explosion. Why is it being loudly proclaimed now and why did the Americans bombing Qaddafi ever stop
08:24 February 24, 2011 by RobinHood
I hate to be a party pooper, but the evidence against the Megrahi was very, very thin. It was exclusively based on a visual ID by a Maltese shopkeeper who said he remembered Megrahi, one of two defendants buying clothes from his shop, that were later said to be in the bag that contained the bomb. The fact that the shopkeeper made the ID many years after the sale, and was very well paid for his "evidence" was discarded by the Scottish court. The case against the two was identical, but wierdly, the court found one guilty, and one innocent.

Megrahi was suddenly released on humanitarian grounds when he was weeks away from appealing his conviction. Many Scottish lawyers felt he had a good chance of winning that appeal; that would have kicked off a tremendous diplomatic crisis. The cynics amongst those who kept up with the story (including many of the relatives of those on flight 103, think there was a direct connection between the then upcoming appeal and the sudden, and the clearly dodgy release of Megrahi because of his enigmatic "cancer".

Of course none of this proves Megrahi did not have a part in the bombing of flight 103, but it does cast some doubt on whether he did. The test in Scotland for a criminal conviction is "Beyond reasonable doubt".

Mustafa Abdel-Jalil's evidence is worthless. Like the Maltese shop keeper (now a multi millionaire courtesy of a significant US reward for his evidence), some people will say anything if it suits them.
10:14 February 24, 2011 by Luke R D
@US Citizen.

I hope you're not buying into that crap. I hope you're not jumping on the Western Media Bandwagon and promoting this crap. I hope you're willing to let other people make up their own minds, and not forcing a politically desired opinion onto people. I Sincerely hope you're not propagating the sinister.

The article lost all credibility once I read the line "Laid back Sweden...".

Laid Back? Try "Most uptight nation on Earth".
11:57 February 24, 2011 by engagebrain
We now know that a major part of the weapons of mass destruction Iraq story was invented by someone with an agenda - perhaps the Libyan justice minister also has an agenda - he could have mentioned this anytime.

On the evidence Megrahi is very unlikely to be guilty - he was probably released by the UK ahead of an appeal that would have tested actual evjdence in court - with every prospect of acquittal - which would be massively politically embarrassing for the UK - if not acquitted the integrity of the judicial system would come into question. So his release on health grounds was rather convenient.

This does not mean that Libya is innocent but there is minimal evidence for Megrahi's involvment- which is pathetic given the number of people killed.

Gaddafi will not be missed.
12:51 February 24, 2011 by UScitizen
@ Luke R D

I'm not promoting anything. I live here in Sweden and my experiences bare out what I read. I don't know which part of Sweden you live in, or what sort of Swedish people you know. I certainly wouldn't call Sweded the most uptight nation on earth. So which part of Sweden do you live in?
16:34 February 24, 2011 by Tusker
@ Glencoe. Thank you for your comments.

I was attached to the US Military at the time of the Lockerbie incident and vividly recall the list of victims from the Pan Am flight, layed out in the Stars and Stripes Newspaper. I recall the story of the new born infant being taken home to be with his grandparents for his first Christmas. Then, just as now, as I write this, my eyes well up with tears. Yes, I agree we must never forget these and other heinous crimes inflicted on innocents. True justice does not have a sell by date.
17:09 February 25, 2011 by peter franzen
Until a few days ago Mustafa Abdel-Jalil was a part of the same Libyan regime that has blood on its hands and has for decades oppressed, tortured and murdered its own people.

So what has suddenly prompted his conversion on the road to Damascus?

Self preservation and a job in the new US neocon controlled regime perhaps?

If as he claims he has evidence then where is it?
18:40 February 25, 2011 by Archie1954
Quadaffi is an evil man with no morals, no ethics and no conscience much like every other elite throughout the world today. He was responsible for the American Airlines crash in Lockerbie, Scotland. Well, the old USSR was responsible for the Korean Airlines crash in the Sea of Okhosk and the US was responsible for the Iranian Airlines crash in the Middle East a number of years ago. So who has the right to point fingers now? Evil is evil no matter which country or which elite does the wicked deed.
08:50 February 26, 2011 by mikewhite
You have all heard of false confessions, either due to duress, mental issues, or for reasons of gain. I understood Gadaffi's 'owning up' to be related to the last two.

Whether it was Syrians, or due to Iranian revenge for American downing of an Iran aircraft, will never emerge officially but I don't think Libya had a hand in the loss of flight 103
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