By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 19 November 2015:
British police have detained a Libyan in the UK in connection with the fatal shooting . . .[restrict]of a policewoman outside the Libyan embassy in London in April 1984.
Scotland yard said that the arrest of the man, in his 50s, was a “significant development” in its enquiry into the murder of police constable Yvonne Fletcher, which was revived after the collapse of the Qaddafi regime. The man, who has not been named by police, was also held, along with a woman in her 40s and a man in his 30s on suspicion of money laundering.
It is being reported by Libyan social media that the arrested man is Salah Ibrahim. However, reliable UK sources simply give his name as Mabrouk. Ibrahim, a former revolutionary guard, was the Qaddafi education minister who banned the teaching of English in schools.
The murder of the 25 year-old police woman was committed in St James’ Square outside what was then known as the Libyan Peoples’ Bureau. She had been among police containing an anti-Qaddafi demonstration across the street, when a volley of shots was fired from the first floor of the building. Fletcher was hit in the back and died later in hospital.
There followed an 11-day siege of the embassy before it was agreed that the Libyan envoys, who enjoyed diplomatic immunity, would be allowed to leave. No arrests were made. A Scotland Yard source this evening cautioned that the killer might not necessarily have been among those who marched defiantly out of the building at the end of the siege. He pointed out that there had been time before the embassy and the square had been secured by police, for the culprit to have slipped away.
The UK immediately broke off diplomatic relations with Libya. In 1999 Qaddafi agreed to pay compensation to the Fletcher family and said he would cooperate with a British police probe. However little came of this. However, after the Revolution, London renewed its approaches and in 2012 British police began a series of visits to Tripoli. a €71,000 reward has been offered for information that secures a conviction. [/restrict]