EU lifts sanctions on defected Libyan minister

, Comments 0 comments

Britain on Thursday confirmed that the European Union had lifted sanctions on Mussa Kussa, the former Libyan foreign minister who defected from the Moamer Kadhafi regime last month.

Kussa, who arrived unexpectedly in Britain on March 30, no longer has his assets frozen and faces no travel restrictions.

"Sanctions are introduced to invoke behavioural change and as Mussa Kussa has chosen to leave the regime he is no longer sanctioned in this way," a Foreign Office spokesman said.

The action was believed to have been proposed by Foreign Secretary William Hague when he met with his European counterparts on Tuesday, and comes a week after the United States removed its sanctions on the ex-minister.

Scottish officials investigating the Lockerbie plane bombing interviewed Kussa last week to establish the extent of his knowledge of the 1988 incident which claimed 270 lives.

The former intelligence chief, believed to be Kadhafi's most trusted aide before his high profile defection, is credited with helping dismantle Libya's nuclear weapons programme and renewing ties with the West.

Conservative lawmaker Robert Halfon condemned the decision.

"I am astonished that the EU, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to give immunity from sanctions to an alleged war criminal," the politician said.

© 2011 AFP

0 Comments To This Article