Libya: Gaddafi aide Moussa Koussa faces more questions

Libya's Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa reads a statement to foreign journalists at a hotel in in Tripoli, in this Friday March 18, 2011
Image caption Scottish prosecutors want to question Moussa Koussa over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing

The UK is still seeking information from ex-Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa, who fled to London on Thursday, Defence Secretary Liam Fox has said.

Asked what should happen now to Mr Koussa, Dr Fox told the BBC he would not provide daily updates but "clearly we want to get information from him".

He said he wanted the message to reach the Libyan regime that its leader, Muammar Gaddafi, should go.

Mr Koussa told officials he was no longer willing to represent the regime.

Scottish prosecutors have asked to interview Mr Koussa about the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, which left 270 people dead.

The Foreign Office said officials had been in contact with the Scottish prosecutors and Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary and would be meeting them on Monday to discuss Mr Koussa's situation.

Asked whether Mr Koussa would stand trial if evidence was found linking him to Lockerbie, Dr Fox said: "It's very clear in Britain that our judicial process moves independently from government."

Previously, Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted that Mr Koussa had not been offered immunity from prosecution.

In the interview with BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Dr Fox objected to describing those fighting pro-Gaddafi forces as the "rebels", insisting they were "opposition forces" because the regime has no legitimacy.

Questioned about whether the UK was backing the opposition, Dr Fox said the UN resolution "gives us the freedom to assist those who are helping protect the civilian population.

"This is not about regime change. This is about stopping the Gaddafi regime from killing its own population. We are not there to intervene in the internal affairs of Libya," he said.

His comment comes as Libya's government dismissed as "mad" a conditional ceasefire offer made by the rebel administration.

Spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said troops loyal to Col Gaddafi would never withdraw from the rebel-held cities they were besieging.

The UK government is providing 2,100 tents for people driven out of their homes by the fighting in Libya.

The stocks will be flown from Dubai and distributed by the Libyan Red Crescent, mainly in the Ajdabiya area in the north east of the country.

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