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Now the hunt for justice begins: Libya’s secret files on Yvonne Fletcher, Lockerbie bombing and IRA weapons to be made public ‘within months’
Murdered: Policewoman Yvonne Fletcher was killed outside Libyan Embassy in London in 1984
The alleged killers of murdered WPC Yvonne Fletcher’s will face justice in Libya, the country’s leading diplomat in the UK has promised.
Mahmud Nacua also said that ‘secret files’ on the 1984 murder of WPC Fletcher – as well as on the Lockerbie bombing and other Gaddafi-sponsored assassinations in London – will soon be made public.
British diplomats are demanding that the National Transitional Council works to solve the murder of WPC Fletcher, who was shot outside the Libyan embassy in London.
Only one of the men allegedly involved in the killing of Yvonne Fletcher is still believed to be alive.
Former embassy worker Matouk Mohammed Matouk was captured this year, according to Libya’s acting deputy prime minister Ali Tarhouni, but was then reported to have escaped.
MPs in Britain are demanding that he be extradited to Britain, but Mr Nacua said Libyan police and courts must be responsible for bringing him – and any accomplices – to justice.
He said: ‘When our country is stable all the files of the crimes that have been committed by Gaddafi will open. Everything will be known to the world what happened in the time of Gaddafi.
‘They will face justice in Libya, not in Britain. Libya is an independent country, it has its constitution, it has its law, its lawyers.’
The files will be made public within the next few months as the new government settles down, it is understood.
Yesterday Foreign Secretary William Hague said that Gaddafi’s death had ‘brought closer’ action to put the murderer on trial.
He had raised the WPC Fletcher case on Monday during talks in Tripoli with NTC chairman Mustafa Mohammed Abdul Jalil.
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Mr Hague said: ‘They fully understand that it is very important to us to deal with the tragic issues left behind by Colonel Gaddafi in our country, on top of all the damage that he did to Libya.
‘But as they often point out they need to be able to form a government and have functioning ministries in order to be able to do that. These events yesterday bring closer the day that we can get all of that.’
Libya conflict: Fletcher murder suspect ‘found dead’
Abdulqadir al-Baghdadi had been named as a suspected “co-conspirator” in the officer’s killing in documents handed to the Crown Prosecution Service.
Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK wanted to know “a great deal more” about what had happened to him.
The UK is seeking permission for UK investigators to visit Libya.
No-one has ever been charged with the murder of PC Fletcher, who was shot while policing a demonstration outside the Libyan embassy in London.
Mr al-Baghdadi is one of three former diplomatic staff alleged to have been involved in the killing, according to a witness statement given to UK prosecutors – details of which emerged on Saturday.
- The account named Mr al-Baghdadi and Matouk Mohammed Matouk as “co-conspirators” who could potentially face prosecution, while alleging that it had been Abdulmagid Salah Ameri, a more junior diplomat at the time, who had actually fired the gun.
All diplomatic staff claimed diplomatic immunity after the murder and were deported.
Amid renewed efforts to find PC Fletcher’s killers, officials from the National Transitional Council – the body recognised by the UK as Libya’s sole governing authority – announced that one of the alleged suspects was dead.
“We can confirm today the death of Abdulqadir al-Baghdadi who is the head of the Revolutionary Guards. He was a minister and he was also accused of shooting Yvonne Fletcher in London in 1984,” deputy head of Tripoli’s council, Usama El-Abed, said.
“We just found the body and he was shot in the head.”
He suggested he had been killed as a result of an “inside vendetta” within groups loyal to the deposed former leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
The Foreign Office said it could not confirm the death and was seeking more details.
“I don’t want to prejudge immediately what has been announced,” Mr Hague told BBC News.
“Of course, we will want to know a great deal more about what the NTC has said has happened in this case. I am sure the police will want to know what has happened and assess themselves whether it affects their investigation in any way.”
One senior NTC figure recently appeared to rule out the possibility of any Libyan being extradited to the UK to face charges in connection with the murder, saying it was not allowed under Libyan law.
But Mr Hague insisted that the NTC had offered to co-operate fully with the police inquiry.
“We, in the Foreign Office, will assist the police in pursuing the investigation in the future, including continuing it in Libya itself,” he added. “The change that is happening in Libya may give additional opportunities to take this investigation forward.”
Downing Street has said it would raise the issue with the NTC and hoped an agreement could be reached on granting UK police investigators access to Libya soon.
Prime Minister David Cameron is due to hold talks with members of the NTC in Paris on Thursday as part of an Anglo-French summit designed to pave the way for it to formally assume power in Libya.
The agenda for the summit was one of a range of issues discussed by ministers in a meeting of the National Security Council, also including efforts to track down Col Gaddafi and a full-scale humanitarian aid drive once fighting has ceased.
Rebel leaders have warned that unless troops loyal to Col Gaddafi in the city of Sirte – his birthplace and one remaining stronghold – surrender by Saturday, they will use force.
Murdered PC Yvonne Fletcher’s suspected killer will not be given up by Libyan rebels – despite William Hague insisting that he will.
Junior diplomat Abdulmagid Salah Ameri has emerged as the prime suspect in the 1984 killing of unarmed Yvonne.
She was 25 when she was gunned down outside the Libyan embassy in London.
The revelation brought hope that Yvonne’s killer could finally be brought to justice but members of Libya’s National Transitional Council insisted they would block any attempt to extradite him.
Hassan al-Sagheer, a legal expert and member of the NTC, said that the rebels did not want to hand anyone over.
Mr al-Sagheer said: “Libya has never extradited or handed over its citizens to a foreign country. We shall continue with this principle.”
Fellow NTC member Fawzi al-Ali added: “According to our laws, no one can be handed over unless there are previous agreements or special arrangements to do so.”
However the Foreign Secretary William Hague yesterday played down the rebuff, which is highly embarrassing for the Government after the help Britain has given the rebels.
Mr Hague said NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil had promised on his recent UK visit that he would help bring the police officer’s killer to justice.
The minister claimed: “When Chairman Jalil of the National Transitional Council was with us in London in May he committed himself and the council to co-operating fully.
“It is true, it is a fact, there is no extradition treaty with Libya, but we look to them to co-operate fully. So I would not take what has been reported today as the last word.”
Mr Hague said that the ongoing police investigation into Yvonne’s death made it “quite difficult” for him to comment any further.
“The police investigation has full diplomatic support and NTC have promised full co-operation,” he added.