The Libyan Foreign Minister defects and a spring morning in London in 1984

I’m not quite sure why the Libyan Foreign Minister, Moussa Koussa, has defected to the UK. Koussa was head of the Libyan security apparatus between 1994 and 2009 (including the secret police) and for a long time before that was heavily involved in Gaddafi’s looney regime. Koussa must realise that after arriving in the UK he will be questioned, not just about the Lockerbie bombing, but also Libya’s arming of the IRA, amongst other things (why didn’t Koussa seek refuge in another looney regime, like Uganda or Saudi Arabia?).

And talking of the IRA, London has never been a totally safe place, and back in the 1980s Londoners were familiar with bomb scares and actual bombs going off. However, back then there was very little gun crime in London (unlike now, sadly). That’s why, on a spring morning in 1984, Londoners were shocked when a machine gun was fired from a window of the Libyan embassy in St James’s Square.

The short burst of gun fire was directed at a small group of anti-Gaddafi protesters in the square. Eleven people were hit by bullets, and one of them, policewoman Yvonne Fletcher, died of her injuries (she was 25 years old). Welcome to the mad world of Colonel Gaddafi.

The murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher caused an outrage and controversy that still simmers to this day. Following the shooting on that spring morning there was an 11 day siege at the Libyan embassy. Eventually, because of diplomatic immunity, the staff remaining in the embassy were allowed to return to Libya without charge.

27 years later, the man who is thought to have fired the machine gun which killed Yvonne Fletcher was arrested in Benghazi by the rebels (this was last week – see here). His name is Omar Ahmed Sodani. He’s a well known Gaddafi thug and in 1984 his fingerprints were found on the window ledge of where the shots were fired.

Omar Ahmed Sodani hasn’t faced trial yet, and may not be guilty of killing Yvonne Fletcher. The interesting thing about this is that when scumbag regimes begin to fall all kinds of things come to the surface.

Here’s a 1984 news report about the murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher…

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