Scotland seeks Lockerbie interview with Libyan minister

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Scottish prosecutors said Thursday they had requested an interview with Libyan foreign minister Mussa Kussa over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, following his apparent defection to Britain.

"We have notified the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the Scottish prosecuting and investigating authorities wish to interview Mr Kussa in connection with the Lockerbie bombing," a Crown Office spokeswoman said.

"The investigation into the Lockerbie bombing remains open and we will pursue all relevant lines of inquiry."

Kussa, a former head of Libyan intelligence and one-time member of leader Moamer Kadhafi's inner circle, arrived unexpectedly in Britain on Wednesday and said he was resigning as foreign minister, the Foreign Office said.

His arrival was welcomed by relatives of those killed in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in December 1988, which killed 270 people and which Kussa has been suspected of involvement.

Libyan agent Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi was convicted of the bombing in 2001 and sent to a Scottish jail, although he was released on compassionate grounds in August 2009 because he was suffering from terminal cancer.

But relatives of the dead have long been calling for an investigation to reveal who ordered and planned the crime.

Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was among those killed, said Kussa's arrival in Britain was an opportunity to finally shed some light on the atrocity.

"Kussa was at the centre of Kadhafi's inner circle. This is a guy who knows everything," he said.

"I think this is a fantastic day for those who seek the truth about Lockerbie. He could tell us everything the Kadhafi regime knows."

Swire added: "Today those relatives who seek the truth about why their families were murdered should be rejoicing."

© 2011 AFP

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