The Libyan Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah admitted in a televised speech on Thursday that his government was involved in the transfer of Abu Agila Masud Al-Maryami, a Lockerbie bombing suspect, to the United States (US) last week.
Dbeibah explained that an arrest warrant was issued against him from Interpol and that it became imperative for his government to cooperate in this file for the sake of Libya’s interest and stability, reiterating that the extradition was lawful and that his government was simply cooperating with an ‘’international judicial framework to extradite accused citizens”.
Dbeibah went on to name Masud as the bomb maker for the midair bombing of a Pan Am flight that killed 270 people, and explained that “Libya had to wipe the mark of terrorism from the Libyan people’s forehead”.
Masud, a former explosives expert with Libya’s intelligence services, is suspected of making the bomb that blew up a Boeing 747 travelling from London over Lockerbie in Scotland in 1988, killing 259 people on the plane and 11 on the ground. Some 190 American citizens were on the flight destined for New York.
His family said he was seized from his home by an armed unit linked to Dbeibah last month, Reuters reported. On Sunday the US said he was in their custody. The next day, Masud appeared at a federal court in Washington and was charged with an act of international terrorism.
Dbeibah said in his televised speech that the government would provide Masud with a lawyer “regardless of his involvement in terrorism”.