Fhima and Megrahi on MBC 08/10/1998
09/10/1998 *** updated 09/10/1998 The interview with the 2 suspects in the Pan Am 103 Crash Case on London-based Arabic MBC the 8th of October 1998
Come and join the discussion: Should the US and the UK agree to an international trial in the Netherlands ?
And should Libya extradite the two suspects for trial ? Who was behind the crash of Pan Am 103 ?Lockerbie Crisis Discussion Room - your opinion !
Lockerbie suspects have doubts about fair trial
TUNIS, Oct 8 (Reuters, my own and others) - Two Libyan suspects wanted in connection with the Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, said they did not think they could not get a fair trial in any European court and would prefer to face Arab of African judges.
The two, Abdelbasset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, spoke in an exclusive interviewbroadcast on Thursday by the London-based MBC satellite television channel. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, also interviewed by MBC, reiterated his belief that an U.S.-British proposal for a trial in the Netherlands was a trick and denied the two suspects were Libyan intelligence officers. ``The U.S.-British initiative is not an initiative, it is a trick plan,'' Gaddafi said. ``No, no, they are employees of the airline company,'' he said when asked whether they were intelligence agents as alleged by the United States and Britain.
Wearing a black shirt, Megrahi tried to explain the situation to MBC´s viewers: ``We want to stand trial before a court...but there is dignity,'' Megrahi said. ``We want guarantees,'' he added. "We prefer an Arab coutry with an Arab judge...It could be in an African state, not necessarily an Arab state,'' he said. ``We are sticking to our rights,'' Fhimah also said. The U.S.-British proposal ``made us realize we are going to be in danger,'' he said in the interview. ``Why don't they give us guarantees? What's the problem with that?''
``I don't trust the European judges,'' Fhimah added, wearing traditional Libyan shirt and west. Neither referred directly to a possible trial in the Netherlands as proposed by the United States and Britain. Both underlined the impact of stress the media coverage of the Lockerbie has made on their lives.
Abdelbasset Megrahi and Lameen Fhima talked for one hour about how they and their families have lived through the last 7 years, being the 2 most wanted men in the world. They gave examples of how their children were harrassed in school, their fathers blamed for the now 6 year long embargo against the country. Looking old and tired, the 2 suspects declared themselves innocent of the accusations and said they longed for justice to be done in order for them to start living a normal life again.
``We are confident of our innocence. We are ready to appear before court because we ... have nothing to be afraid of,'' Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi told MBC. Al-Megrahi complained the two had already been convicted by Western officials and journalists.