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Outrage over UK decision to allow Libyan defector to fly to Qatar

April 13, 2011 - London

The British Government has been accused of turning the country into a 'transit lounge for alleged war criminals' for allowing former Libyan former Foreign Minister Musa Kusa to travel to Qatar ahead of a meeting of the international alliance's Contact Group today.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said Kusa was 'free to come and go', and would be seeing representatives of the Doha government and others to 'offer insights' on the situation.

Tory MP Robert Halfon, whose family fled Libya when Gaddafi took power, however said that the coalition was repeating mistakes made with Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

"Many people will be very anxious that Britain is being used as a transit lounge for alleged war criminals. We should learn from the release of Megrahi that we should not release those people associated with Gaddafi or let them out of the UK until they have faced the full course of the law, whether in British courts or international courts," the Daily Mail quoted Halfon, as saying.

The revelation of Kusa's involvement in the talks, which will be chaired by British Foreign Secretary William Hague, came after Kusa spoke publicly for the first time after fleeing Libya.

Urging all sides in the conflict to stop Libya becoming 'a new Somalia', Kusa had said: "My country lives in a difficult time. It's the worst. When the Libyans started to lose security and stability I decided to resign. I have no contact the Libyan regime."

'I worked to serve the Gaddafi regime for more than 30 years. I was devoted to my work because I had the confidence and was certain that what I did served the Libyan people. But after recent events things changed and I couldn't continue. That's why I took this decision," he added.

Earlier, Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi was set free from the Scottish prison on compassionate grounds after doctors claimed that he was suffering from cancer and would die within three months. However, he is still alive, and British officials have been blamed for playing behind the scene for his release.


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