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Entries in Foreign Miinister Moussa Koussa (1)

Thursday
Mar312011

Libyan Defector Could Link Gadhafi to Lockerbie Bombing

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- British prosecutors say they hope that defected Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa will provide valuable new information on Moammar Gadhafi's suspected role in the fatal 1988 terror bombing of Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Koussa, a longtime ally of Gadhafi, is the most senior member of the regime to defect. British officials Thursday said the one-time intelligence chief had not been offered immunity for the information he might provide.

"There is no deal. He arrived late last night. There are discussions going on. This is going to take some time. It is early days," said a government spokesman.

"We have notified the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the Scottish prosecuting and investigating authorities wish to interview Mr. Koussa in connection with the Lockerbie bombing," the spokesman said. "The investigation into the Lockerbie bombing remains open and we will pursue all relevant lines of inquiry."

News of Koussa's arrival in the U.K. quickly spread to Washington, where members of Congress were interested to know if American justice officials would also have access to Koussa for questioning.

"Secretary Clinton has taken a very strong personal interest in the Pan Am 103 victims," Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg told the House Foreign Affairs Committee Thursday morning.

"The Department of Justice has a considerable interest in a number of these issues. Because there are ongoing investigations, I'm not in a position to comment on them," he said, adding, "We, obviously, take this decision by the Libyan foreign minister very seriously."

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