Suspect named in London Libyan embassy killing: report

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Eyewitness reports emerged Saturday identifying a prime suspect in the 1984 killing of a policewoman outside the Libyan embassy in London, as Britain hopes to bring the gunman to justice.

Yvonne Fletcher, 25, was shot dead while policing peaceful demonstrations outside the embassy. Nobody has ever been charged with her murder.

The fatal shot was always believed to have been fired from inside the building, sparking an 11-day stand-off with police, but the killer was presumed to have left Britain among the 30 staff who were then deported under diplomatic immunity.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper said it had seen a 140-page secret review of the evidence and the investigation, conducted in 2007 by a senior Canadian prosecutor at the request of London's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

The report was addressed to the head of counter-terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service, the state prosecutors in England and Wales.

In it, a witness identified Abdulmagid Salah Ameri, a junior diplomat working in the administrative section, as firing a gun from an embassy window.

The Daily Telegraph said the report included testimony from a decorator who watched events unfold from a bank.

"The man was holding the stock of the gun in his right hand, while his left hand was near the trigger area, as if he was about to fire. There were other men with him, with one to his left and at least two others standing behind him," it said.

The witness "made a comment to someone to his left about the gun and, as he did so, he heard the gun being fired from the direction of the bureau, a 'rapid rat-a-tat-tat' lasting for two or three seconds."

The decorator identified Ameri on television as he left the embassy following the 11-day siege.

The killing led to Britain severing diplomatic relations with Libya until 1999 and has been a long-running sore in ties between London and Tripoli, along with the 1988 bombing of a passenger jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

An MPS spokesman would not comment on the naming of the suspect.

"The murder investigation has always remained open and the MPS remains committed to identifying those people responsible for killing Woman Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher," he said.

"Detectives remain in regular contact with WPC Fletcher's family and update them on developments."

© 2011 AFP

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