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Libya probes decision to extradite Lockerbie suspect to US

December 15, 2022 at 4:40 pm

The wreckage of the Pan-Am 747 plane which was blown up en route to JFK airport by Libyan terroists [Tom Stoddart/Getty Images]

The Libyan Attorney General, Al-Siddiq Al-Sour, said yesterday that he had opened an investigation after a complaint about the extradition of Abu Ageila Masoud to the United States for trial over his allegedly participating in the bombing of an American airliner over the Scottish town of Lockerbie 34 years ago.

In mid-November, Libyan media reported that Masoud was abducted from his home in the capital, Tripoli, while reports say that his extradition to Washington took place with the knowledge of the attorney general.

“The complaint submitted to us is that the extradition took place without legal procedures, which is a matter under investigation. We have launched investigations into this matter and we will announce the results in due course,” Al-Sour said in a statement.

Masoud is a former officer in the Libyan External Security Service, US reports claimed that in 2021 he was responsible for manufacturing the bomb used to blow up the plane.

On Tuesday, the first hearing was held in the Federal Court in Washington to try Masoud for killing 270 people, including 190 Americans, after a bomb exploded on board the Pan American Airways airliner in 1988.

On Monday, the House of Representatives in Tobruk called on the Attorney General to “file a criminal case against those involved in the abduction of the citizen Abu-Ageila Masoud and handing him over to foreign authorities.”

In 2008, Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime reached a settlement with the United States under which he paid more than $2 billion to the families of the victims to close the case.

READ: How did a Libyan man kidnapped in Tripoli end up facing trial in US custody?