Police agencies seek time to question Kusa

April 1, 2011 at 9:13 AM
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LONDON, April 1 (UPI) -- Musa Kusa, the Libyan foreign minister turned defector, could give key information on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's role in global terror, officials said.

Legal and law enforcement authorities have indicated they want to question Kusa, who fled to Britain Wednesday, about a number of terrorist activities, including the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, about arms supplies to the Irish Republican Army, the killing of British police officer Yvonne Fletcher and possible war crimes, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Libyan rebel leaders demanded Kusa, a longtime fixture in Gadhafi's regime, be returned to the country to face war crime charges.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said he would not block any attempts by police to question Kusa nor grant the defector immunity from prosecution. Kusa was being interrogated by British intelligence officials at an undisclosed location.

Former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Kusa was a key source for British and U.S. intelligence for more than a decade.

The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday Ali Abdessalam Treki, a former foreign minister and U.N. General Assembly president also defected, as did a senior official at the Libyan Embassy in London. Ibrahim Dabbashi, Libya's deputy U.N. ambassador, said most high-level Libyan officials were trying to flee Gadhafi's government, but were having difficulty leaving the country because of security.

Kusa, who once oversaw Libya's intelligence service, was previously expelled from Britain for endorsing the assassination of dissidents in London.

Parliament members of all political stripes spoke of the need to ensure Kusa be held accountable for his actions, the Telegraph said.

"I think what has happened is comparable to Rudolf Hess coming here during the Second World War," said Robert Halfon, a Conservative member. "The fact is that this man is most likely a war criminal, allegedly been responsible for the deaths of British citizens, allegedly the organizer of the Lockerbie bombing. He's part of the Gadhafi totalitarian regime and, in my view and that of many others, he needs to go to the international court to face trials for war crimes."

Topics: Musa Kusa
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