Colonel Gaddafi behind Lockerbie bombing, claims former minister

By Jennifer Lipman, February 23, 2011

A senior Libyan politician has claimed to have evidence that the 1988 Lockerbie bombing was carried out under the orders of Colonel Gaddafi.

The attack on a New York-bound Pan Am flight, for which Libyan citizen Abdelbaset Al-Megrahi was convicted in 2001, left 270 people dead, including Jewish victims from Britain, America and Israel.

Colonel Gaddafi, who has ruled Libya since 1969, has never confirmed his involvement in the terrorist attack.

But there has long been speculation about his input and when Al-Megrahi was released early from prison in Scotland on compassionate grounds in August 2009, the Libyan government gave him a warm welcome.

With protests continuing across Libya, the former Justice Minister Mustafa Mohamed Abud Al Jeleil told Swedish newspaper Expressen that the dictator had given the order to bomb the plane, and then covered up his role.

Mr Al Jeleil, who resigned this week against the backdrop of the Libyan government’s bloody crackdown on the uprising, said: "I have evidence that Gaddafi ordered the Lockerbie bombing.

“To hide this, he did everything in his power to get Megrahi back from Scotland."

Last updated: 3:04pm, February 23 2011