Gadhafi Says Sorry for UK Policewoman's Death

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has said he is sorry about the death of a British policewoman shot outside Tripoli's embassy in London 25 years ago, but does not know the identity of her killer.

Yvonne Fletcher was killed in April 1984 by shots fired from inside the embassy. No one has been convicted of the 1984 killing, though the Libyan government has accepted that its agents were responsible.

"She is not an enemy to us, and we are sorry all the time and our sympathy, because she was on duty, she was there to protect the Libyan Embassy," Gadhafi told Sky News in an interview broadcast Monday

He said the case is "a problem which should be solved. But who did it? That's the question."

Britain broke off diplomatic relations with Libya for 15 years after the shooting. The two countries restored diplomatic relations in 1999 after Libya accepted responsibility for Fletcher's shooting, apologized and agreed to pay her family compensation.

Britain's growing diplomatic and business ties with Libya have been under intense scrutiny since the August release from prison of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who is terminally ill with cancer.

Critics accused British authorities of putting commercial interests before the families of the 270 victims of the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland. The Scottish government, which made the decision to free al-Megrahi, said it was done purely on compassionate grounds.

In a wide-ranging interview, Gadhafi also said the Palestinians should be allowed to have nuclear weapons if Israel does not get rid of its own arsenal, and called President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize "premature."

"I do believe he deserves it, but to be given right now I think it is some sort of hypocrisy, sycophancy, and I think it is premature," Gadhafi said. "It is not due yet."

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