Libyan Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush denied today that she made any mention of Abu Agila Mohammed Masud, a former Libyan intelligence official suspected to be involved in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, during her recent interview with the BBC.
The top diplomat was suspended and placed under investigation by the Presidential Council yesterday over “unilateral foreign policy decisions”, according to multiple press reports.
The Libyan media speculated that Mangoush’s suspension came in the aftermath of an alleged announcement she made to the BBC that her government is discussing with the British authorities the possible extradition of Masud.
The alleged statement drew a lot of criticism from Libyans who believe that the case against Libya should be closed after the country paid $2.7 billion in financial settlement in 2003.
In a statement released by the Libyan foreign ministry, Mangoush said that, during her BBC interview, she merely expressed sympathy for the victims of Lockerbie bombing and the Manchester Arena bombing, both of which were committed by two Libyan citizens.
Mangoush also warned against “the circulation and dissemination of false and misleading news to public opinion, because it is considered a crime punishable by law”.
The Libyan government rejected the Council’s suspension of Mangoush, which it considered a breach of power.