EU defends lifting sanctions against Kusa

April 15, 2011 at 12:04 PM
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LONDON, April 15 (UPI) -- The European Union acted properly in removing former Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa from a sanctions list because he defected, EU officials said.

A spokesman for European Union foreign relations leader Catherine Ashton told Friday officials thought Kusa no longer met the criteria for sanctions because he abandoned Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime when he defected at the end of March.

The EU decision was approved unanimously at the ambassador level last week.

In Britain, where Musa defected, a Foreign Ministry official said, "Sanctions are introduced to invoke behavioral change and as Musa Kusa has chosen to leave the regime he is no longer sanctioned in this way."

Kusa has been housed in an undisclosed location in London while being questioned by British and Scottish authorities about the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in which 270 people died. British intelligence officials said they suspect Kusa had intelligence involvement in the bombing.

The U.S. lifted its punitive measures on Kusa last week. Treasury Department official David S. Cohen said in his blog, "Kusa's defection and the subsequent lifting of sanctions against him should encourage others within the Libyan government to make similar decisions to abandon the Gadhafi regime."

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