Clinton favours probe of Gaddafi role in Lockerbie bombing
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 02, 2011, 13:52
Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has supported the move to probe the possible role of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in the 1988 Lockerbie plane bombing.

"We are going to continue to pursue this. This is a matter of great personal importance to me," Clinton told lawmakers at a Congressional hearing responding to a question on probing Gaddafi's role on the plane bombing.

Clinton said the UN Security Council resolution passed against Libya last week has a referral to the International Criminal Court.

"That would certainly be one of the many counts that would be put against him if he ever is captured alive and turned over for justice proceedings," she said.

"Because there have been statements made in the last days by what are now former members of the Libyan government, figuring Gaddafi, making it clear that the order came from the very top, I think we do need to move expeditiously," Clinton said.

"To this British government's credit, a report has been put forth giving us more information about what went on behind the scenes, but there is a lot that we still need to do and this letter is a good list of beginning efforts that need to be undertaken," she said in response to a question at a Congressional hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Clinton said the issues were raised in a letter to her by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

"I was given a letter before coming out here, thanks to the chairwoman, that asked very specific questions about how we could gather evidence and put together a case against Gaddafi and all those with whom he might have conspired in setting in motion the chain of events that led to the explosion over Lockerbie," she said.

"We will follow up on that. Much of the activity that is asked for in the letter would have to be done by our law enforcement agencies that I will certainly contact after this hearing -- FBI Director (Robert) Mueller and Attorney General (Eric) Holder and others -- to see how we can move on that," she said.

Libyan national Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi was the only man convicted in 2001 for the bombing of Pan AM Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie on December 21, 1988 that killed 270 people, most of them Americans.

But Megrahi was later released on compassionate grounds in August 2009 after doctors said he was suffering from terminal cancer and had three months to live.


First Published: Wednesday, March 02, 2011, 13:52

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