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London Urged Not to Embrace Kusa

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TEHRAN, April 3 (ICANA) – London's help to Libya's 'torture in chief' to escape Muammar Gaddafi's regime and possibly seek asylum there has raised a wave of anger in Britain and elsewhere.
Sunday, April 03, 2011 6:13:58 PM
London Urged Not to Embrace Kusa

Following the surprise arrival of Gaddafi's foreign minister Musa Kusa at a former military airport near London on Wednesday, media reported that Britain's spy agency, MI6, has been behind his escape.

MI6 officers contacted Kusa earlier in March in the knowledge that he has been long suspected of ordering the Lockerbie bombing and the killing of WPA Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London.

The Daily Mail quoted sources as saying that Kusa was 'enticed' by the “prospect of living in safety in the UK under the protection of the asylum laws”.

The former Libyan Foreign Minister and Intelligence chief then travelled to Tunisia under the pretext of seeking medical treatment from where MI6 helped a charter a private Gulfstream G200 from TAG Aviation to fly him to Farnborough Airport and directly into one of MI6 safe houses.

Amid growing speculation backed by unconfirmed reports -- including the one mentioned in the Daily Mail -- that Kusa picked Britain as his destination on an offer of asylum by the London officials, the Foreign Office only admitted that “discussions are ongoing on a rrange of issues, obviously (immigration) status is an important issue”.

The prospect of Kusa who has been branded Gaddafi's “envoy of death” to be given asylum drew strong criticism from MP Ben Wallace, the parliamentary aide to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke.

“This man should not be granted asylum or any other special treatment; the only proper outcome is to bring him to justice,” Wallace said.

“Britain needs to make up its mind quickly. There will be no shortage of courts that will readily seek his extradition. The last thing the UK wants is for Kusa to languish, at taxpayers' expense, in legal no-man's-land,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mike O'Brien, a former Labour Foreign Office Minister, said it would be difficult to prove the case against Kusa over his involvement in the Lockerbie bombing as well as the killings widely attributed to him.

“Kusa was head of the organisation (the Libyan intelligence service) that was blamed for much of this, but proving what he knew and when he knew it will be more difficult,” O'Brien said.

O'Brian who hammered out several key deals on Lockerbie compensation, Libya's weapons of mass destruction and the WPC Fletcher's murder with Kusa in 2003, said lack of evidence for Kusa's crimes may allow him to live in Britain as a free man.

This comes as according to Geoffrey Robertson QC, the human rights barrister, Kusa will claim he would be hunted by both the Gaddafi regime and the opposition groups to obtain asylum, which cannot be challenged in case he has talked to MI6.

“If he has given MI6 information about Gaddafi then he is at risk in Tripoli. And he can also say that his life will be in danger in Benghazi from the opposition,” Robertson said.

The possibility of Kusa's successful asylum claim in Britain that is strengthened by the direct involvement of the British government in his escape from Libya, has also sparked reactions from the revolutionary forces in the African country.

“We want to bring him to court. This guy has so much blood on his hands. There are documented killings, torturing. We want him tried here. International law gives us that right,” said Mustafa Gheriani, spokesman for the Libyan revolutionary council.

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