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Libya 'will aid' Lockerbie probe

Libyan authorities have said they will co-operate with Scottish prosecutors and police investigating the Lockerbie bombing, the Foreign Office said.

The National Transitional Council (NTC) has reassured the UK Government after reports suggested Libya's interim justice minister had said the Lockerbie bombing case was "closed".

Mohammed al-Alagi was asked for his response at a press conference after Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland QC requested that Libyan authorities hand over any information that could lead to a second trial over the atrocity, which killed 270 people in December 1988.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi is the only person to have been convicted of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie.

According to reports, Libya's interim justice minister Mohammed al-Alagi, responding to news of the request, told a press conference in Tripoli: "The case is closed."

But later, a spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "NTC Chairman Abdul Jalil has already assured the Prime Minister that the new Libyan authorities will co-operate with the UK in this and other ongoing investigations. Having spoken with the NTC ... we understand that this remains the case. The police investigation into the Lockerbie bombing remains open, and the Police should follow the evidence wherever it leads them."

Scottish prosecutors are seeking assistance from Libya's NTC to gain evidence that could lead to the conviction of others involved in the atrocity.

Earlier a Crown Office spokesman said that it accepts that Megrahi "did not act alone" and it is hopeful recent developments in Libya will mean the country will assist with the inquiry.

Megrahi was released on compassionate grounds from Greenock Prison in August 2009, when doctors advised he had around three months to live after he was diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.

Amin Khalifa Fhimah also stood trial with Megrahi, but was acquitted of any involvement.

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