31 Mar 2011

Loathed and feared by Libyans: what next for Moussa Koussa?

William Hague seemed to be suggesting in his press conference at the Foreign Office that, reading between the lines, he thought he could pick up Moussa Koussa’s unhappiness with the Gaddafi regime in the several calls he had with him over recent weeks. Some of those calls were about trying to make sure that British nationals who were in harm’s way could be got out. It suggests an extraordinary back-channel that was still in existence even as British jets bombed Libya.

I asked if Moussa might be spirited out of the country to avoid extradition or prosecution and William Hague suggested there were no such plans. But later on, a government source said when I asked if Mr Koussa might leave the country that he was looking at “a range of options.” The same source, asked if charges against Moussa Koussa were likely said: “there are none currently pending and noone is seeking to interview him as far as I’m aware.”

There would be no shortage of people with profound reasons for wanting to see him prosecuted. A Libyan expert told me that Koussa was “really loathed and feared by the Libyans … because he tortured people as though he was having breakfast or a glass of water.”

Tweets by @garygibbonc4