United States

Washington reveals details of al-Marimi’s handover 


In its first comment on his extradition, the US announced that the transfer of Libyan national Abu Ujaila Mohammed Massoud al-Marimi to Washington to stand trial on charges related to the bombing of Pan Am 103 was legal, and was carried out in cooperation with the Libyan authorities.

The US embassy in Tripoli said in a statement on Tuesday evening that the transfer operation came in the wake of the publication of a red card by Interpol against al-Marimi in January 2022 demanding all member states to locate and detain the defendant for the purpose of transferring him to the United States.

Washington said it would not “reopen the 2008 agreement between the United States and the then Libyan government, which resolved American and American citizens’ claims against Libya stemming from certain terrorist incidents, including the Pan Am 103 attack.”

The embassy noted that it bars future lawsuits against the Libyan state, “but does not in any way restrict our law enforcement cooperation or have any impact on the criminal charges against those responsible for the attack.”

The US embassy’s comment followed the publication of a statement on the Dbeibeh Foreign Ministry’s page denouncing al-Marimi’s extradition to the US, which was made aware of the allegations that its Facebook page was hacked and then claimed that it was not run by Mangoush’s press office, according to the Africa News Agency.

In the first official Libyan reaction to the US statement, outgoing Libyan Prime Minister of National Unity Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh announced Washington’s assurance that the compensation agreement would not be opened, and that a criminal red card from Interpol would be issued.

He said in a tweet that Libyans have been subjected to a massive disinformation campaign in this regard, referring to what can be described as a broad Libyan political and popular rejection of al-Marimi’s extradition, especially from political opponents.

Last Thursday, Dbeibeh announced that his government had handed al-Marimi over to Washington, and that al-Marimi was responsible for manufacturing explosives that “killed 270 innocent lives” in the Lockerbie airliner accident.

The Associated Press quoted Libyan officials as saying about the way al-Marimi, who is accused of being involved in the bombing of a US airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, was handed over to the United States. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that powerful militias believed to be close to the outgoing government of Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, arrested al-Marimi from his home in Abu Salim district in Tripoli.

They said al-Marimi was taken to the city of Misrata and eventually handed over to U.S. agents who flew him to the United States, and according to the Associated Press, the United States likely pressed for months for al-Marimi’s extradition.

Fathi Bashagha, prime minister of the Libyan Council of Representatives, accused the national unity government of undermining Libyan sovereignty, following the extradition of Abu Ujaila Massoud al-Marimi, a citizen, to the United States.

Al-Marimi’s family said they have begun legal proceedings to prosecute the outgoing head of the national unity government, following the extradition of the former intelligence officer, Abu Ujaila Masoud al-Merimi.

Al-Marimi’s family has accused the interim head of the national unity government, Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, Foreign Minister Najla Mangoush, and the commander of the Misrata Joint Force of being involved in the “kidnapping” of the Libyan national, and holding him for nearly a month in an “illegal detention center” without any charge.

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