Ex-Gaddafi Minister arrested over killing of UK policewoman

Friday 20/11/2015
In 1999, Libya accepted ‘general responsibility’ for Fletcher\'s death

LONDON - A Libyan man bailed over the murder of a British policewoman outside the Libyan embassy in London in 1984 was on Monday identified by British media as a former Libyan education minister.

Police on Thursday arrested a man in his 50s on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, and he was named by newspapers including the Sunday Mirror and Guardian as Saleh Ibrahim Mabrouk.

He is a former education minister and high-ranking member of former leader Muammar Gaddafi's revolutionary committees who has claimed asylum in Britain, the Guardian reported Monday.

Yvonne Fletcher had been patrolling a small, peaceful demonstration outside the embassy in London's St James's Square on April 17, 1984.

A rival demonstration of supporters of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi had also turned out when "a number of shots were fired from within" the embassy, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

The Guardian said Mabrouk was taking part in the counter demonstration.

He received bail on Friday and must return to a police station at a later date.

Mabrouk was deported shortly after the shooting, but the deportation order was lifted in 2000 and he returned to Britain as an asylum seeker in 2011 as civil war broke out in Libya.

The killing led to Britain severing diplomatic relations with Libya until 1999 and has long been an obstacle in ties between London and Tripoli, along with the 1988 bombing of a passenger jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

In 1999, Libya accepted "general responsibility" for Fletcher's death.

Gaddafi's ouster in 2011 has given investigators new hope of solving the Fletcher and Lockerbie crimes.