Shijal ChudasamaDecember 16, 2022

Libyan PM acknowledges transfer of Lockerbie suspect

Libyan PM acknowledges transfer of Lockerbie suspect

Anger in Libya and condemnation from a parallel administration located in the east of the country have been brought on by the transfer of a former intelligence explosives expert to the US.

Prime Minister of Libya Abdulhamid al-Dbaiba has acknowledged that his government was engaged in last week's transfer of Abu Agila Mohammad Masud Kheir al-Marimi, a suspect in the Lockerbie attack, to the United States.

"Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for him. For the benefit and stability of Libya, it is now essential that we work together on this issue," al-Dbaiba declared in a speech that was broadcast on television.

Libya PM admits role in Lockerbie suspect’s transfer
Abu Agila Mohammad Masud Kheir al-Marimi, accused of making the bomb that blew up Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988, is shown listening in this courtroom sketch during an initial court appearance in the US District Court in Washington, DC, on December 12, 2022 
Libya PM admits role in Lockerbie suspect’s transfer

The extradition, he continued, was legal, and his country was merely assisting a "international judicial system to extradite accused nationals."

Al-Dbaiba did not offer any concrete proof that Masud was responsible for the 270-person death toll from the airborne bombing of a Pan Am flight, but he did state that his nation "had to wash the mark of terrorism off the forehead of the Libyan people."

The bombing contributed to Muammar Gaddafi's government becoming despised internationally. In a revolution in 2011, Gaddafi was toppled and killed.

Al-Dbaiba and his Government of National Unity (GNU), which has its headquarters in Tripoli, have not yet made any statements on his detention or transfer to the US, with whom Libya has no extradition agreement.

Libya PM admits role in Lockerbie suspect’s transfer
Prime Minister of Libya Abdulhamid al-Dbaiba

The prime minister of Libya made his remarks a day after the nation's top prosecutor, Siddiq al-Sour, declared that an investigation into the circumstances of Masud's imprisonment and transfer will be conducted as a result of a complaint from the suspect's family.

Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha of the opposing government, which is based in eastern Libya, termed Masud's imprisonment unconstitutional on Tuesday and requested his immediate release.

The extradition has exacerbated Libyans' long-standing resentment, which has been caused by years of upheaval and division. People in Tripoli were seen carrying banners that accused al-Dbaiba and his affiliated militia groups of being responsible for Masud's transfer in Facebook videos that were uploaded on Thursday.

Al-detractors Dbaiba's charge him with holding Masud unlawfully and turning him over to the US in order to win their support in his conflict with competing factions for control of the country.

Masud, a former explosives expert for Libya's secret services, is thought to have built the bomb that destroyed a London-bound Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 259 on board and 11 on the ground. On the trip to New York, there were around 190 Americans.

Libya PM admits role in Lockerbie suspect’s transfer
Libya PM admits role in Lockerbie suspect’s transfer

In 2020, after discovering new information showing that he had ostensibly confessed his crimes to a Libyan law enforcement officer, the US finally brought formal charges against him.

According to his relatives, he was taken from his home by an armed group associated with al-Dbaiba last month, according to Reuters.

The US announced that he was in their custody on Sunday. Masud appeared in federal court the following day in Washington and was accused of engaging in an act of international terrorism.

Regardless of Masud's involvement in terrorism, according to Al-Dbaiba, the government will give him with legal representation.

A significant development in the protracted investigation occurred in 2017, when the US Justice Department obtained a copy of an interview Masud gave to the law enforcement of the North African nation in 2012, during which he is said to have admitted to building the bomb that was used in the Pan Am attack.

According to an FBI affidavit, Masud said the attack was ordered by Gaddafi’s intelligence services.

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