The father of a victim of the Lockerbie bombing has told Channel 4 News that he has approached Scottish police with a list of questions about Moussa Koussas involvement in the atrocity.
Dr Jim Swire, whose daughter Flora was among the 270 killed when Pan Am Flight 103 exploded in 1988, does not believe that the one man convicted over the bombing – Abdelbaset al-Megrahi– was involved.
However, he does think that Moussa Koussa – who defected last week from Muammar Gaddafi’s regime – knows crucial details about the event and he has a number of questions to put to him; preferably in person or through theCrown Office in Scotland. Dumfries and Galloway police have also asked to interview Koussa.
Koussa was head of Gaddafi’s intelligence agency from 1994 and was a senior intelligence agent at the time of the Lockerbie bombing. He later went on to become Foreign Minister by the time of his defection.
“I have three main questions to put to Mr Koussa,” Dr Swire told Channel 4 News.
“One; was he and the Libyan Government intimately involved in the atrocity. Two; if not, why did Megrahi submit himself for trial. And three; if Libya was involved, why was it involved?”
“I’m not vengeful, I just want to know the truth.” Dr Jim Swire, father of Lockerbie victim
Dr Swire had long believed that Libya’s only role in the bombing was to supply Semtex, the plastic explosive used in the attack, to the perpetrators. Instead, he thinks that Iran and Syria masterminded the actrocity. Dr Swire hopes that if Mr Koussa is forthcoming with further details about Libya’s involvement, or lack thereof, it could lead to Megrahi’s exoneration.
The Boeing 747 jumbo jet was en route from London to New York when it was blown out of the sky over the Dumfriesshire town. Some 243 passengers, 16 crew and 11 residents of the town were killed and debris from the aircraft was spread over 845 square miles between Lockerbie and the North Sea.
“I’m not vengeful, I just want to know the truth,” Dr Swire said. “At the very least, Mr Koussa will know if Libya was involved, if it was solely behind the attack. If he can offer or point to a way of proving that Libya was, in fact, not involved, the investigation into Lockerbie would take a very dramatic turn.
“But I accect that if Mr Koussa does supply any information it will have to be considered in the context that it is presented: he’ll be talking in a situation where he’ll be trying to save his own skin because he’s reneged on Gaddafi and thrown himself on the mercy of the West; and so what he will say, no doubt will be likely to blacken the regime he’s just left and I think anything he says should be taken with great caution.”
Dr Swire met Koussa in 1991 and described the encounter as “more terrifying than meeting Gaddafi”.
“I first met him to ask Gaddafi to ask his citizens to appear in front of the Scottish court. I found the interview with Moussa Koussa pretty terrifying. Throughout the hour or so of the interview there were minions coming and going and it was obvious that he was dispersing power around the country. It was a very scary time, far more scary than meeting Col Gaddafi, actually.”
On Sunday, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, announced that police would be allowed to interview Koussa about Lockerbie and other historic crimes, saying: “We want more information about past events.”
He added: “The Crown Office in Scotland want to talk to him about what has happened in the past, such as Lockerbie. My officials are discussing with the Crown Office how to go about that.”