News and Views

October 1997

30 October 1997: Arab League Secretary General Esmat Abdel-Maguid has said there would be no point in sending Arab and African observers to a possible trial in Scotland of two Libyans indicted for the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing. "Attendance of Arab and African observers at the trial... will not be useful because they do not have the power to remark on the procedures and progress of the trial,'' the Egyptian news agency (MENA) quoted him as saying on Wednesday. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told parliament on Tuesday he was asking U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Abdel-Maguid and his counterpart in the Organisation for African Unity to send teams to see the Scottish legal system in action in the hope of breaking a deadlock preventing the trial. [Reuter]
29 October 1997: Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafu met South African President Nelson Mandela today [Wednesday] and reiterated his refusal to extradite two Libyans sought by the West for the 1988 airliner bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. Mandela, visiting Libya for the second time in a week, advised al-Qadhafi to support the United Nations in its efforts to "reduce tension, conflict and violence.'' "It is important to understand the importance of moderate language in dealing with our affairs,'' Mandela said in a brief speech in a sports stadium in the coastal town of Zwarah. A puzzled-looking al-Qadhafi said he accepted Mandela's advice, but at a news conference after the president's departure, the Libyan leader emphasised that he would not change his stand. "Mandela's advice was clear, he calls for joint efforts for peace,'' he said. "But that Libya hand its sons to the United States or Britain, a ridiculous demand.'' Mandela left Zuwarah after awarding al-Qadhafi the Order of Good Hope, the highest South African honor a foreigner can be awarded. [Reuter]
29 October 1997: Britain on Tuesday asked The Unated Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to send envoys to Scotland so they could evaluate the legal system that would try two Libyan suspects accused of blowing up a Pan-Am airliner over Lockerbie in 1988. British ambassador Sir John Weston followed up on a formal announcement from Foreign Secretary Robin Cook who said the U.N., the Organization of African Unity and the Arab League were all asked to send high-level representatives to Scotland to examine the fairness of the judiciary. Weston said he asked Annan to send two envoys to visit a Scottish prison and court facilities and to discuss trial arrangements. [Reuter]
29 October 1997: South African President Nelson Mandela left al-Rabat, Morroco, on Tuesday for Tunisia on his way to Libya for his second meeting with Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi in a week, a Moroccan official said. Mandela, who visited Libya on his way to the Commonwealth summit, is due to meet al-Qadhafi again on Wednesday morning, and news of this second meeting had sparked speculation he was trying to resolve the dispute over a Lockerbie trial venue. The South African leader said on Tuesday he had not discussed the Lockerbie issue with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Scotland and it was not on the agenda of his meeting with al-Qadhafi. On Sunday, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said for the first time that he would not rule out a trial in a third country, but warned there would be considerable legal difficulties. [Reuter]
29 October 1997: German prosecutors said on Tuesday they were reducing charges against two German businessman accused of supplying materials to Libya for the manufacture of chemical weapons. State prosecutor Juergen Vitz told a German court the two businessmen had confessed their roles in the illegal transaction. As a result he was dropping penal charges and would prosecute the pair for violating foreign trade laws rather than for violating weapons export laws. [Reuter]
27 October 1997: South African President Nelson Mandela will shortly visit Libya again but has no plans to make any major announcement on ending the deadlock over the Lockerbie bombing, his spokesman said on Sunday. Tony Trew dismissed as "unreliable'' a report from Cairo quoting an Egyptian official as saying Mandela would be making such an announcement in Libya. "On his way back to South Africa he will have a brief meeting in Libya. I'm not aware of any important announcements that will be made.'' [Reuter]
27 October 1997: The father of one of the 270 victims of the Lockerbie bombing has said he is "more optimistic than for years" of progress towards a trial of two suspects. Jim Swire, who lost his daughter Flora in the bombing and who is a spokesman for the British relatives of those who died, is due to meet British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook. The meeting follows comments made by the South African president Nelson Mandela at the Commonwealth summit in Edinburgh. He said that justice would not be seen to be done if Lockerbie bombing suspects were tried in Scotland. Libya has said it will not release the two suspects it has except for trial in a neutral country. Mr Swire, speaking on BBC's Breakfast with Frost, welcomed Mr Mandela's intervention.
For more details on the Lockerbie affair, please click on the following items:
Report on the accident at Lockerbie, Scotland, on 21 December 1988
Pan Am 103 Crash unofficial home page
International Court of Justice Page: Conclusions on the hearings on the Lockerbie case
BBC: The nine year battle: a Lockerbie chronology
The impact of the United Nations sanctions against Libya
The Sunday Mail: US government still on ropes over Lockerbie
How could Pan Am 103 not be a bomb?
Pictures from the crash of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland
Libya: The UN Sanctions and Related Issues

26 October 1997: According to al-Hayat newspaper, Mansour al-Kukhia's wife [Baha' al-Emri] is suing Egyptian Interior Minister Hassan al-Alfi for 500,000 Egyptian Pounds because his ministry failed to protect her husband while he was attending Arab Human Rights convention in Cairo, Egypt, in December 1993. Al-Kikhia disappeared on 10 December 1993. Al-Emri will visit Egypt next Friday and she will be meeting with Egyptian Presdent Hosni Mubarak's top advisor Osama al-Baz.
26 October 1997: South African President Nelson Mandela stepped up pressure on Britain on Saturday to drop its refusal to let two Libyans accused of blowing up a U.S. airliner over Scotland stand trial in a neutral country. Justice could not be done if Britain insisted on trying the two suspects in Britain or the United States, he told a news conference during the biennial Commonwealth summit. Mandela said he had not raised the matter with Prime Minister Tony Blair but did not mince his words in urging Britain to agree to a trial in a third country."I have never thought in dealing with this question that it is correct for any particular country to be the complainant, the prosecutor and the judge at the same time." Mandela said. [Reuter]
25 October 1997: Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on Friday renewed demands for compensation for colonial rule from Italy, threatening it with a political and economic boycott, the official Libyan news agency JANA reported. Tripoli in the past claimed that Italy, which occupied Libya for 34 years until its defeat in World War II, deported 5,000 Libyans as forced labour between 1911 and 1943 and called for reparations. Libya has declared October 26 every year a "Mourning Day" to mark the Italian invasion and cuts itself off for hours from the outside world. Italy had said in the past that the issue of reparations was legally resolved by a settlement with King Idris, deposed by al-Qadhafi in 1969. [Reuter]
25 October 1997: South African President Nelson Mandela left Libya with no compromise from Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi on the trial of two men suspected of killing 270 people in the 1988 bombing of an airliner over Scotland, diplomatic sources said on Friday. They said Mandela had agreed to return to Libya next week mainly to correct a diplomatic faux pax. The sources, who are involved in arranging the second visit next Wednesday, told Reuters that Mandela would use the one-hour encounter in Libya mainly to award al-Qadhafi the South African Order of Good Hope. [Reuter]
25 October 1997: Nelson Mandela urged the United Nations to lift sanctions on Libya, saying they hurt ordinary Libyans, not just Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. The South African president's call was a rebuff to the United States, the main backer of the sanctions, which prohibit arms sales to Libya, ban flights to and from the country, and limit diplomatic contacts. State-run Libyan television gleefully declared Mandela's two-day visit"an expression of solidarity with Libya against the conspiracy it is facing." [Tribune News]
24 October 1997: Britain is to tell South African President Nelson Mandela that it cannot change its stance over the trial of two Libyans suspected of blowing up a U.S. airliner over Scotland, a British Foreign Office spokesman said on Thursday. "Our view remains that the two suspects must be handed over for trial in Scotland or the United States as demanded by the U.N.,'' the spokesman said. [Reuter]
24 October 1997: Malta-based firm Rotos Ziraya said on Thursday it had won a $5.5 million order to supply submersible pumps to Libya. Rotos Ziraya is a Maltese-Libyan-Italian joint venture with the Maltese government owning seven per cent of the shares, the Libyan Arab Maltese Holding company Ltd 22.5 percent,the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO) 38 percent and Rotos-Atturia s.p.a of Gessate, Milan 32.5 percent. It produces submersible and monoblock pumps of varying capacity flows and horsepower for irrigation purposes. [Reuter]
24 October 1997: The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Moscow will help Libya to reconstruct a nuclear reactor and will take part in some other business projects but added that none of them violated U.N. sanctions against Libya. Ministry spokesman Gennady Tarasov said that it was decided in principle during bilateral consultations in Moscow on 22-23 October that Russian companies would take part in some energy and communication projects in Libya. "At Libya's request Russian companies confirmed they were ready to help in technical servicing and reconstruction of the maintenance system of the Tajura Nuclear Research Centre which was built with the Russian assistance,'' he told a news briefing. "The Libyan side has an appropriate agreement on safeguards with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA),'' Tarasov said referring to an agreement which puts the reactor under international control. [Reuter]
23 October 1997: Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi hailed South African President Nelson Mandela as a saint after giving him a chaotic, hero's welcome. At the end of a day of botched arrangements and shattered timetables, al-Qadhafi made Mandela and his Mozambican sweetheart, Graca Machel, wait an hour on Wednesday for a summons to dinner. But after three hours of private talks that left 200 banquet guests picking at bread rolls and a wilting seafood salad, al-Qadhafi declared that Mandela was a "saint.'' Busloads of students greeted Mandela with cheers and showers of fresh rose petals. A feast of fruit and roast meat awaited him inside a border reception centre. But Mandela and Machel, already more than two hours late, were rushed into an air-conditioned bus without a snack or time to wash their hands. Accompanied by Libyan Foreign Minister Omar Muntsser, Mandela sped away in a wild cavalcade of about 50 vehicles. [Reuter]
23 October 1997: The International Court of Justice wound up hearings on the 1988 Lockerbie bombing on Wednesday with Libya, the United States and Britain at a stand-off and prospects for a criminal trial bleak. The three countries had come to the U.N. court not to apportion blame for the downing of Pan American flight 103 but to continue their wrangle over where two Libyan suspects should stand trial and who should decide. Britain and the United States blamed Libya for the blast and, backed by U.N. sanctions, demanded the extradition of two Libyan suspects. The hearings in The Hague, which began on 13 October, did nothing to soften that stance. Nor did the Libyan side budge from its insistence that the men should stand trial at home or on neutral ground. [Reuter]
22 October 1997: South African President Nelson Mandela arrived at the Libyan capital of Tripoli today Wednesday and was welcomed by Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Libyan state-run television showed Mandela's car pulling up at the Azizia barracks where al-Qadhafi lives. Mandela and his delegation, including his Mozambican companion Gracia Machel, entered Libya by road because of the air embargo imposed by the U.N. [Reuter]
21 October 1997: Libya's justice minister has said a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency report that Egyptian agents abducted a Libyan dissident in Cairo in 1993 and gave him to Libya was aimed at punishing Egypt for supporting Tripoli. Mohamed Belgacem al-Zwai said in remarks published by the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Hayat on Monday that Libya had nothing to gain from kidnapping Mansour al-Kikhia because he was an ideological opponent who did not have political ambitions. The CIA report, made public by the Washington Post last month, said Libya executed al-Kikhia, a former foreign minister, shortly after Egypt handed him over. Al-Hayat quoted al-Zwai as saying officials from Libya and Egypt were in contact to find out what happened to Kikhia. For more details [in Arabic - al-Hayat] please click here
21 October 1997: Some relatives of the victims of Pan Am Flight 103 have rejected Libya's call for a criminal trial and will continue to pursue civil litigation against Libya, a husband of one of the victims said Monday. Bruce Smith, who lost his wife in the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, also said there was a better chance of getting a full examination of the evidence in a civil suit, citing as an example the O.J. Simpson trial. "Those of us who are suing the Libyan government are starting at the top and we're trying to get a full examination of the evidence under civil rules of procedure,'' Smith told the American network ABC's "Good Morning America.'' [Reuter]
21 October 1997: The United States Monday reaffirmed its opposition to a planned trip to Libya by South African President Nelson Mandela, but said if he did go he should urge Tripoli to comply with U.N. resolutions. U.S. State Department spokesman James Rubin was referring to resolutions demanding that Libya hand over for trial in Britain or the United States two of its citizens accused of blowing up a Pan Am airliner in 1988, killing 270 people. Mandela, who arrived Monday in Egypt, is due to travel to Libya on the next leg of a North African tour. [Reuter]
21 October 1997: South Africa called on Monday for an end to U.N. sanctions against Libya, which South African President Nelson Mandela is due to visit this week. "Now South Africa and many countries...believe that the regime of sanctions against Libya really ought to be done away with,'' South African Foreign Minister Alfred Nzo told reporters in Cairo. "There is no point in exposing the population of Libya collectively to punishment through sanctions. Obviously people are suffering.'' [Reuter]
Who kidnaped Mansour al-Kikhia? By: Tareq al-Najjar
Basic facts to understand the abduction of Mansour al-Kikhia in Cairo , Egypt

20 October 1997: South African President Nelson Mandela has branded the United States government dull and arrogant for criticizing his planned visit to Libya, a newspaper reported Sunday. A U.S. State Department spokesman Thursday expressed Washington's disappointment at Mandela's planned visit to Libya on 22 and 23 October. "How can they have the arrogance to dictate to us where we should go or who our friends should be,'' the Sunday Independent quoted Mandela as telling a gathering of some 500 influential business people and politicians in Johannesburg Friday. [Reuter]
20 October 1997: Libya has sent letters to the families of victims of Pan Am flight 103 asking them to settle the case so that United Nations sanctions will be lifted against the country, The New York Times reported Sunday. Relatives of victims of the 1988 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, have received the letters from Libya's United Nations representative, the Times said. The letters written early this month say that only the U.S. and Britain still support sanctions against Libya, the Times said. Because Libya has refused to turn over two Libyan suspects in the case, the United Nations imposed sanctions that prohibit air traffic in or out of Libya. [Reuter]
19 October 1997: The Egyptian Minister of Oil Hamdi Al Banbi confirmed that a pipeline will be installed to transfer Libyan crude oil with a capacity of 950 thousand barrels a day, which will be refined in the Egyptian refineries. Libyan Oil Minister Abdalla Al Badri has accompanied his Egyptian counterpart while inaugurating the first gas station in the area of Sidi Barani, northwest of Egypt by the Egyptian-Libyan border. This is the first step of a new project to establish 50 gas stations on the coastal road connecting the two countries. Engineering studies have been finished to complete the road, of which long areas are already paved. [Arabic News]

18 October 1997: Relatives of Americans killed in the Lockerbie bombing are now prepared to see the two Libyan suspects tried in the Hague, a spokesman for the families of the British dead said on Friday. "Never before have the American relatives accepted the concept of trial in a neutral country -- they have always demanded the trial take place in the United States under United States law,'' said Jim Swire, a spokesman for UK victims' Families. London and Washington blame Libya for the attack and, backed by the U.N, are demanding the extradition of two suspected bombers for trial in Britain or the U.S. In a case before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague, Libya is seeking a ruling that Britain and the U.S. are acting unlawfully and insisting on a trial for the men on their home turf or in a neutral third country. Swire said the British families agreed with their U.S. counterparts that a trial in the Hague represented the best hope of ending the wrangling between the three countries. [Rueter]
18 October 1997: The secretary-general of the Arab League Dr. Esmat Abdel Meguid will head to Britain, Italy and the UAE next month to discuss the crisis of Lockerbie with the foreign ministers of these countries. A source in the league said that the French stance toward the crisis is more encouraging than the American and British stances. The source added that the diplomatic efforts exerted by the Arab League aim to lift the embargo imposed on the Libyan people and to provide a just trial to the Libyans suspected of being involved in exploding the US plane over Lockerbie in 1988. [Arab News]
18 October 1997: The Libyan League for Human Rights sent an open letter to
Egyptian President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak concerning the "Abduction" in
Egypt of Mr. Mansour al-Kikhia, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Libya.
To view the full text of the LLHR's letter [in English] please click here
18 October 1997: Libya took the stand at the International Court of Justice Friday and accused the United States and Britain of exploiting the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland for political ends. "The reactions of the two states after the tragic explosion at Lockerbie are explained by geopolitical and ideological reasons,'' Libyan law professor Abdelrazeg Suleiman said. "They have little to do with the reality of the actual facts,'' he told the United Nations court. Suleiman was speaking on the fourth day of hearings on the downing of an American jet as it flew above Lockerbie. [Reuter]
17 October 1997: The Libyan League for Human Rights sent an open letter to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak asking him to investigate the disappearance [kidnaping] of the LLHR's member Mansour al-Kikhia [pictured] who disappeared in Cairo on 10 December 1993.
To view the full text of the letter [in Arabic] please click here
17 October 1997: Libya's represetative in the International Court of Justice said that the ICJ has the right to discuss the Lockerbie affair. Hamed al-Hdairi said that Libya will discuss the issue today Friday after both the British and the Americans early this week had the chance to tell the court their points of view.
For more details [in Arabic - al-Hayat] please click here
15 October 1997: South African President Nelson Mandela will visit Libya, Egypt and Morocco this month. Mandela would visit Libya and Egypt on his way to a Commonwealth summit being held in Edinburgh, Scotland, from 24 October to 27. The visit to Libya was in response to a long-standing invitation from Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. [Reuter]
15 October 1997: Scotland's highest judicial authority promised the World Court yesterday that two Libyans suspected in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 would receive a fair trial in Scotland. Libya has in the past offered to allow the suspects to stand trial in a third, neutral country before a Scottish judge -- a move both the United States and Britain have rejected. Libya denies the suspects were its agents and says they had no role in the bombing. It contends that by investigating the case it has fulfilled its obligations under the 1971 Montreal Convention on unlawful acts against aircraft. [AP]
15 October 1997: A German businessman charged with supplying materials to Libya for the manufacture of chemical weapons admitted on Tuesday he had guessed what the components were being used for. Detlev Crusius, 55, told a court in Germany he had suspected the components sold to Libya between 1990 and 1993 would not be used for civilian purposes. Earlier, Crusius and co-defendant Udo Buczkowski, 49, denied charges of contravening foreign trade laws and controls on arms shipments, saying they were not aware what use the components were being put to. [Reuter]
15 October 1997: The United States told a United Nations court on Tuesday it had jurisdiction to prosecute two Libyans accused of bombing Pan Am flight 103 from the skies over Scotland in 1988. Lawyers representing the U.S. State Department urged the International Court of Justice to rule against Libya's contention that a 1971 anti-terrorism convention gave Tripoli the right to try the men. Libya wants the court to rule the U.S. and Britain are acting unlawfully in pressuring Tripoli to hand over the men. Washington and London have filed counter-claims, contending Libya's application is inadmissible and the International Court of Justice does not have jurisdiction over the case anyway. Libya is due to address the bench on Friday. [Reuter]
14 October 1997: Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi has held talks with visiting Somali faction leader Hussein Aideed, Libya's state-run television reported. The Libyan television quoted Aideed as saying his main concern was ``national reconciliation (in Somalia) without foreign interference.'' Aideed, who claims to be Somalia's president, had arrived in Libya on Sunday and heads a delegation comprising four ministers, including the minister of defence. Aideed controls south Mogadishu. [Reuter]
13 October 1997: Libya, the United States and Britain will go before the International Court of Justice today Monday in the next stage of their legal wrangle over the 1988 bombing of a United States airliner flying over Luckerbie, Scotland.
For more details [in Arabic - al-Hayat] please click here

11 October 1997: Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa discussed the Arab League's proposal to mediate and settle the Libyan-Western Lockerbie dilemma, during a meeting with Libya's permanent envoy Salma Rashed, Al Ahram daily said today. The Libyan delegate told reporters following the meeting that the meeting agenda had also covered the issues discussed recently by the United Nations General Assembly and regional topics of mutual interest, a Foreign Ministry official said.
11 October 1997: A Libyan wanted for the 1986 bombing of a Berlin discotheque that killed two U.S. soldiers and a Turkish woman was handed over to German authorities on Friday under heavy security, a Berlin justice spokeswoman said. Musbah Eter, 40, who was detained in Rome in August and was handed over by Italian police, has been charged with complicity to murder and is believed to have built the bomb that exploded in the nightclub, she added. [Rueter]
11 October 1997: Libya, the United States and Britain will go before the International Court of Justice on Monday in the next stage of their legal wrangle over the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner flying over Scotland. Britain and the United States have blamed Libya for the attack and, backed by the United Nations Security Council, called for the extradition of two suspects from Libya. The Security Council imposed sanctions on Libya in April, 1992, for its failure to cooperate. Tripoli maintains it is entitled under international law to try the men in Libya and has asked for a ruling to that effect from the International Court of Justice. More recently, Libya has also offered to hand the men over for trial in a neutral, third country -- a proposal rejected by London and Washington. [Rueter]
9 October 1997: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Wednesday suggested that the United States had implicated Egypt in the 1993 disappearance of a Libyan dissident to press Cairo to free a convicted Israeli spy. Mubarak, in his first comment on the Mansour al-Kikhia case, denied a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report that Egyptian agents abducted the former Libyan foreign minister in 1993 and handed him over to Libya, where the CIA said he was killed. He told reporters the CIA might even have been responsible itself for spiriting al-Kikhia out of Egypt. [Reuter]
7 October 1997: Today marks the 46th anniversary of the announcement of the Libyan Constitution on 7 October 1951. To view the 1951' Constitution, please click here
7 October 1997: Libya has taken a five percent stake worth $25 million in Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Co, the Abu Dhabi-based company said on Tuesday. "The amount invested by $25 million which represents five percent of the total Thuraya capital amounting to $500 million,'' Thuraya said in a statement. The deal, transferring five percent of Thuraya's equity from UAE telephone firm and major Thuraya shareholder Etisalat to the General Post and Telecommunications Co of Libya, was signed on Monday, a Thuraya spokesman told Reuters.
7 October 1997: Two German businessmen accused of supplying materials to Libya for the manufacture of chemical weapons went on trial in the western German town of Moenchengladbach on Tuesday. Detlev Crusius and Udo Buczkowski are accused of supplying components to Libya for the production of poison gas between 1990 and 1993. The trade is alleged to have taken place through Belgian intermediary firms. Both deny contravening foreign trade laws and controls on arms shipments, saying they were not aware what use the components were being put to. A Lebanese-born German is also wanted in connection with the case. [Reuters]
7 October 1997: Hundreds of Libyans marching for pan-Arab unity at the request of Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi have been stopped at the Egyptian border, a source in Tripoli said on Tuesday. The source, contacted by telephone, said the marchers had been massing at the Egyptian border since Sunday but on Monday night they had still not received permission to cross into Egypt. Libyan state-run television on Monday showed hundreds of marchers at an unspecified place in Libya in a what it called a "March of Unity.'' It said they were members of various popular and revolutionary committees. [Reuter]
6 October 1997: The International Court of Justice said on Monday it would open hearings on 13 October on the dispute between Libya, Britain and the United States over the 1988 bombing of an airliner above Lockerbie in Scotland. Libya asked the United Nations court in March 1992 to rule that London and Washington had no right to demand the extradition of two Libyan suspects for trial in Scotland or the United States. Libya maintains that under international law it is entitled to try the two men in its own courts but Britain and the United States have rejected this as unacceptable. Last Tuesday Libya called on the General Assembly to intervene in the Lockerbie affair to enable the two suspects to be tried in a country other than Britain or the United States. Referring to Britain and the United States, Libyan U.N. representative Abouzaid Dorda said: "How can anyone expect the Security Council to solve the problem when our adversaries are both permanent members of the council and possess the veto power? In other words, they are the judge and the jury.'' [Reuters]

5 October 1997: Mansour al-Kikhia's wife Baha' al-Amry met in Tripoli with the secretary-general of the People's Committee for Public Security (Minister of Interior) Mohammed al-Hijazy and the secretary-general of the Justice Committee (Minister of Justice) Mohammed al-Zwaiy and informed them of her rejection of the report issued by the United States Central Intelligence Agency which was published by the Washington Post. The report implicated Egyptian involvement in al-Kikhia's kidnapping and handing him over to the Libyan authorities. Libyan sources mentioned that al-Kukhia's wife met with Libyan security officials who informed her that the US report is incorrect and that it is misleading as the USA will not be as interested in this matter as Libya, al-Kikhia is a Libyan not a US citizen. The officials confirmed that they will continue their efforts to disclose the mystery of his disappearance. [Arab News]
3 October 1997: A Libyan statement said that a Libyan dissident, reported to have been abducted by Egyptian agents in Cairo in 1993 and handed over to Libya where he was executed, had left the country a long time ago and not returned. The statement sent to Reuters late on Thursday by the Libyan news agency office in Cairo said it was referring to a newspaper report about Mansour al-Kikhia, who the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency said was handed to the Libyan government and executed. Al-Kikhia, a former Libyan foreign minister and head of a Libyan opposition alliance, disappeared while attending a human rights conference in Cairo in December 1993. The Libyan statement quoted an official spokesman as saying: "Mansour al-Kikhia is a national who left Libya a long time ago and did not return. Libya has not spoken to Egypt about him. Libyan authorities did not ask for his (al-Kikhia's) being handed over...'' [Reuter]
3 October 1997: Egypt's Foreign Minister Amr Moussa has denied that Egypt was behind the abduction of a Libyan dissident who the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency said was later turned over to the Libyan government and executed. But Moussa said in remarks published on Thursday that the government would investigate any new evidence that Egyptian agents staged the 1993 abduction in Cairo of Mansour al-Kikhia. His comments, in the Arabic language newspaper al-Hayat and Egyptian newspapers, were Egypt's first official reaction to the CIA report published in the Washington Post last Sunday and later broadly confirmed by the U.S. State Department. [Reuter]
2 October 1997: The National Front for the Salvation of Libya "al-Jabha al-Wataniya li-Inqath Libya" said in a press release that Libyan government troops attacked some anti-government centers in the city of Derna's suburbs and put those who were killed in the attack in Derna's main square for the population to see, in an attempt to scare the population. For full text of the NFSL's press release [in Arabic] please click here
2 October 1997: An Egyptian government newspaper said on Wednesday that reports in the United States press that Egyptian agents staged the 1993 abduction in Cairo of a Libyan dissident were aimed at harming Egypt's ties with Washington. Al-Ahram daily was referring to a Washington Post story earlier this week that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) believed Egyptian agents handed Mansour al-Kikhia over to the Libyan government which later executed him. "It is shocking and mystifying that some parties in the United States are striving to fabricate baseless accusations in an obvious attempt to harm Egyptian-American relations,'' al-Ahram said. Egypt's Interior Ministry said it had no comment on the Washington Post story, which was broadly confirmed on Tuesday by United States State Department spokesman James Rubin, who said his country had credible information that Mansour al-Kikhia was killed in 1994. [Reuter]
Salaman Mansour; Ainama Takoon:

1 October 1997: The National Front for the Salvation of Libya "al-Jabha al-Wataniyah li-Inqath Libya" and the Libyan National Alliance "al-Tahaluf al-Watany al-Leeby" said in a joint press release that they are sadened by the latest information concerning the disappearance of Mansour al-Kikhia [pictured.] For the full text of the press release [in Arabic] please click here
1 October 1997: The wife of missing Libyan dissident Mansour al-Kikhia has told a Kuwaiti newspaper that she doubts the credibility of a CIA report claiming that her husband was abducted in 1993 by Egyptian agents and handed over to Libya where he was executed. Al-Rai al-Aam newspaper on Tuesday quoted Baha al-Emary, a U.S. citizen, as saying that she turned down an offer by the State Department to hold a news conference to discuss her husband's abduction. "And I told them that there is no proof of the accuracy of this report,'' she was quoted as saying. Al-Emary made the remarks in a telephone interview from Libya where she is waiting for an appointment with Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi to discuss the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency report, the newspaper said. U.S. resident al-Kikhia, a former Libyan foreign minister and head of a Libyan opposition alliance, disappeared while attending a human rights conference in Cairo, a day before Libya vowed to crush al-Qadhafi's opponents. Al-Emary said the CIA report was undated "and carries all the blackness of the world,'' adding that she was surprised that it was leaked to the media although it was supposed to be a secret document. She said that she had already discussed the report with the head of Libyan intelligence Mousa Kousa who denied it. Al-Emary said she had telephoned U.S. President Bill Clinton's former national security adviser "and told him that the question of my husband Mansour should not be the price for (settling) accounts between countries... "And I also informed him of my rejection of the timing of its publication,'' she added. [Reuter]
1 October 1997: A human rights group on Tuesday called on Egypt and Libya to investigate the fate of one of its members who the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency reportedly said was abducted by Egyptian agents and executed in Libya. The Arab Organisation for Human Rights was responding in a statement to a report in the Washington Post newspaper which said the CIA had evidence that Egyptian agents staged the abduction of Libyan dissident Mansour al-Kikhia in Cairo in 1993. The Post report on Sunday said the four-year investigation confirmed Egyptian agents turned Kikhia over to Col Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi's government which executed him in Libya in 1994. [Reuter]
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