16 Oct 2015

Lockerbie: Libya confirms names of new suspects

Libya confirms the names of two men Scottish and US prosecutors want to interview about the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

They are Abu Agila Masud and Abdullah al-Senussi (pictured above), who are alleged to have been involved in the bombing, for which only one person, Abdelbaset al Megrahi, has been convicted.

The Tripoli government confirmed the names, but said the attorney general’s office had not been officially informed yet.

Megrahi, who was released from jail by the Scottish government in 2009 on compassionate grounds after being diagnosed with prostate cancer, died in 2012, having denied playing any part in the murder of 270 people.

Scotland’s Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC recently met US Attorney General Loretta Lynch in Washington and they have requested assistance from Libyan authorities for Scottish police and the FBI to interview the two suspects in Tripoli.

They were named in a US documentary based on research carried out by Ken Dornstein, whose brother David was killed in the Lockerbie bombing.

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “I think I understand enough to feel satisfied that Libya was the primary author, that Abdelbaset al Megrahi was guilty as charged and that this man Abu Agila Masud was in some way the technical expert whose hands were probably the last hands on the device before it was sent on to (Pan Am flight) 103.”

(Above: Abdelbaset al Megrahi pictured with Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif on his return to Libya in 2009)

Abdullah al-Senussi is the brother-in-law of the late dictator Muammar Gaddafi and a former head of Libyan intelligence. He is alleged to have approved the attack and was sentenced to death in July for the role he played in the Gaddafi regime.

Abu Agila Masud was named in the Megrahi trial indictment and is alleged in the documentary to have travelled with him to Malta, where the bomb was said to have begun its journey. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in July for bombing Libyan opposition members’ cars in 2011.

The documentary, which aired last month, alleged he was also involved in the notorious bombing of a Berlin nightclub in 1986 and that he and Senussi were seen with Megrahi when he returned to Libya in 2009.

Relatives of those killed have welcomed the identification of the two Libyans as suspects.

Susan Cohen, from New Jersey, whose 20-year-old daughter Theodora was killed in the bombing, told ITV News: “”I want to make it clear that I think Megrahi did it , but the trial was framed too narrowly.

“The governments have been dragging their feet and they should have been looking for other people involved, because it wasn’t just Megrahi.”

Dr Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the attack, said: “If there is material that shows other people were involved then we want to know.

“We want to know who murdered our families. But the big but for us is we’re not satisfied the one man who was found guilty was in fact guilty. Therefore we don’t know if the Libyan regime was involved in this or not. And we’ve always said that.”