In an announcement that might seem to indicate that the new revolutionary government of Libyan won't be as compliant to NATO wishes as some have hoped, a minister in Libya's National Transitional Council said Sunday that Libya will not extradite Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the man convicted of the 1988 Lockerbie airline bombing. According to Reuthers:
"We will not give any Libyan citizen to the West," Mohammed al-Alagi, the NTC justice minister, told reporters in Tripoli. The NTC is the de facto government of Libya's rebel movement.
"Al-Megrahi has already been judged once and he will not be judged again ... We do not hand over Libyan citizens. (Muammar) Gaddafi does."
Megrahi, who had been diagnosed with cancer, served eight years in a Scottish prison for orchestrating the bombing of the Pan Am passenger plane which blew up over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988 killing 270 people. He was released in 2009 on compassionate grounds after doctors gave him only months to live.
Megrahi's release angered politicians in the United States -- where many of the victims of the bombing came from. Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron later said the decision by Scotland's justice minister was a mistake.
Also new details have emerged about Mummar Qaddafi attempt to influence Dennis Kucinich in his views of Libya and NATO's involvement. Common Dreams reports:
Secret documents in Tripoli seen by the Guardian reveal the desperate attempts made by the Libyan government in its final months to influence US and world opinion. It approached key international opinion formers from the US president Barack Obama downwards.Omeish, a US based filmmaker, was active in arranging other image building trips to Qaddafi's Libya. He worked with Libyan Foreign Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi to arrange them. In one correspondence with him that has been revealed:
The regime tried to persuade the Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich a well-known rebel who voted against Nato military action in Libya, and opposed the Iraq war to visit Tripoli as part of a hastily arranged "peace mission". The Libyan government offered to pay all Kucinich's costs related to the trip, including "travel expenses and accommodation".
On 22 June a letter sent to Libya's prime minister, Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, by a US-based lobbyist for the regime, Sufyan Omeish, noted that Kucinich was "concerned that his personal safety in Tripoli could not be guaranteed". He preferred to conduct meetings with regime officials outside Libya. The plan was for Kucinich to meet "senior Libyan officials, including Gaddafi". The proposed trip never took place. Kucinich visited Syria instead
He then discusses an urgent proposed peace mission to Libya to try to sway international opinion in their favour. He writes: "We have already obtained confirmation of the involvement of a high-profile US congressman to participate and are making additional overtures to obtain further congressional involvement from other members.
"Moreover, we have also obtained a new confirmation from a high-profile Princeton professor of international law and a former UN fact-finding commissioner to join our delegation." Omeish boasted that he was also working with "award-winning/Oscar-nominated filmmakers to help document the truth about Libya to ensure maximum world-wide exposure."
In another message, Omeish urges Baghdadi not to communicate via Gmail, but to use a more secure private account.
Baghdadl has since denounced the Qaddafi regime and fled to Tunisia. As he talks and more of the regimes secrets come out, it will be interesting to find out more about the connections some of the more prominent anti-interventionist had with the Qaddafi regime.
Meanwhile in the capital city of Tripoli, alexblx's posterous reports that things are moving towards a kind or normalcy and stability given that the liberation of the city about a week old:
The citizens of Tripoli have moved as efficiently as their Benghazi compatriots in establishing civil society in the city. To date police and traffic wardens are back on duty rubbish is being cleared shops are opening many people are out in the streets.Then she talks about the NTC stewardship of the large eastern city:
The NTC are distributing cooking gas in Tripoli - & have ordered bulk fuel supplies to power water pumps - to get water pipes working again Libya
NTC says it will start distributing 30,000 tonnes of petrol on Sunday, and provide cooking gas within the next 48 hours.
A ship carrying fresh water and diesel for the power stations is due to dock in the next couple of days.
Gun signs have been erected against celebratory shooting in Martyrs Square and local neighbourhoods have started gun registers so all neighbours can track the issue of firearms and guns are being handed back in at these registries. As I predicted in the article below the Tripoli people show the same commitment to civil government as Benghazi
Take a look at Benghazi civil society since liberationIt will be interesting to see how things develop in the new revolutionary Libya. It will also be interesting to see what we will now start to find out about the old Libya.
Boy scouts directing traffic - teenagers cleaning streets - mothers preparing community meals - policemen and civil servants turning up for work even if not always paid - parents forming education committees for their children - citizens establishing charities to provide food, housing, and medical services for displaced African and Arabic foreign workers stranded in the city during the uprising - intellectuals forming political and philosophical discussion groups - newspapers and media outlets opening up like there's 42 years of lost expression to make up for![there is].
And all this 'civilization' has happened - during a major military conflict - in which the city's very existence was under threat - by the massive military might of Gaddafi goons and Regime contract killers.
James Bay of AJE has been out in the filed reporting on Libya for a long time. Below is his latest report on the situation in Tripoli.