UK, U.S. to be allowed to question Libyan ex-spy chief over Lockerbie: Libya

LONDON Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:12pm EST

Abdullah Al-Senussi, head of the Libyan Intelligence Service speaks to the media in Tripoli August 21, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

Abdullah Al-Senussi, head of the Libyan Intelligence Service speaks to the media in Tripoli August 21, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Paul Hackett

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LONDON (Reuters) - Libya plans to allow British and American investigators to question Muammar Gaddafi's former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi over the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing, the Libyan justice minister has told Britain's ITV news.

"In order to learn the lessons of history and give rest and assurances and comfort to the families of the victims - we should know everything about what happened to their loved ones during that terrible, terrible crime," Salah Margani told the channel in an interview.

ITV said on its website that when asked whether former Senussi could be questioned, Margani said: "Yes this is the intention.

"What we are working on is finalizing the arrangements for this as much as obtaining the evidence that's available with the UK and US authorities."

"We all need to know the facts," Margani added.

The 1988 bombing of a PanAm flight over Lockerbie in Scotland killed 270 people. Libyan intelligence officer Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, who always denied involvement in downing the jet, was convicted of the bombing.

He was released from jail in 2009 amid huge controversy in Britain and died of cancer last year.

Senussi was director of Libya's feared military intelligence wing as well as the brother-in-law of the deposed former leader Gaddafi.

The 64-year-old played a key role in the military response to the 2011 uprising against Gaddafi and was eventually captured by fighters a month after the former ruler's death.

In June 2011, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Senussi over alleged crimes against humanity.

He is also accused of involvement in the bombing of a French airliner in 1998, and the Abu Salim prison massacre two years before in which an estimated 1,200 prisoners were killed.

Senussi has been held in jail in Libya where has been held since he was extradited from Mauritania 16 months ago.

(Reporting by Stephen Addison; Editing by Alison Williams)

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