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Musa Kusa denies bombing knowledge


Musa Kusa has denied torture allegations made in the BBC's Panorama programme

Musa Kusa has denied torture allegations made in the BBC's Panorama programme

Musa Kusa has denied torture allegations made in the BBC's Panorama programme

Former Libyan foreign minister Musa Kusa has denied having any "involvement of any kind or knowledge" of the Lockerbie bombing and the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher.

Kusa issued a statement through legal representatives in London following allegations made on the BBC's Panorama programme.

The programme, which was broadcast on Monday, claimed he personally tortured prisoners and was involved in the 1996 massacre of more than 1,200 inmates at the country's notorious Abu Salim prison.

Kusa, who made a high-profile defection to Britain in March as Colonel Gaddafi's regime crumbled, accused programme-makers of making "false allegations", adding: "I have never tortured anyone nor been involved in torture. Neither was I present at the massacre at Abu Salim prison."

He said: "I also had no involvement of any kind or knowledge of the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie in 1988 or the murder of WPC Fletcher in 1984. I have voluntarily assisted the relevant investigatory authorities with their inquiries in relation to these matters."

Kusa left Britain following an EU decision to lift sanctions against him, meaning he no longer faces travel restrictions or an asset freeze. He was head of Gaddafi's intelligence agency from 1994 and was reported to be a senior intelligence agent when PanAm flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie in 1988, killing 270 people.

Kusa denied that, adding: "I had no involvement in Libya's intelligence and security organisations until my appointment as head of the External Security Organisation (ESO) in 1994."

The programme, called Britain, Gaddafi And The Torture Trail, described Kusa as one of the former Libyan leader's "most ruthless henchmen". It confronted him with the claims at a luxury resort in Qatar where he is living but he declined to comment on them.

In his statement, Kusa said: "When the reporter confronted me, I was taken by surprise and had no idea who he was. Far from being 'tracked down' in Doha by the BBC and 'on the run', I have made no secret of my whereabouts in Qatar since I left the UK in April earlier this year. Contrary to assertions made by the BBC, I am not a wealthy man and I am currently being supported by friends."

A BBC spokeswoman said: "Panorama stands by its journalism in Britain, Gaddafi and the Torture Trail. The approach to Musa Kusa - former Libyan foreign minister and Gaddafi's chief of spies - was made in accordance with BBC guidelines."

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