Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 16:57 UK

UK in Libya deal over murdered Pc

Pc Yvonne Fletcher
Pc Fletcher is thought to have been shot from inside the embassy

A deal was struck with Libya three years ago ensuring any suspects accused of killing Pc Yvonne Fletcher would be tried in Libya, it has emerged.

The agreement that if there is a trial, it will not take place in Britain, has been confirmed by the Foreign Office.

The Police Federation criticised the deal, but Pc Fletcher's family says it has been informed and consulted.

The 25-year-old was shot dead in 1984 by a gunman believed to be inside Libya's embassy in London.

No suspect has ever been identified.

Paul McKeever, chairman of the Police Federation, said he was "shocked, appalled and disgusted" that the UK agreed to the arrangement.

The chairman, who represents 140,000 officers in England and Wales, added that the timing of the deal suggested the UK government was prepared to "sell its soul" for trade deals.

The family was consulted, has been aware of this for sometime and feels in no way misled
Pc Fletcher family statement

Daniel Kawczynski, Conservative MP for Shrewsbury & Atcham, said signing such a deal with the Libyans was "simply unacceptable".

The chairman of the all-party parliamentary Libyan group told the BBC's Today programme justice could only be served if there was a trial in Britain.

"The family are the most important aspect, but from my perspective, Parliament was not aware... I was extremely concerned at the prospect of a trial in Tripoli," he said.

"To have signed such an accord with the Libyans allowing a trial to take place in Libya is simply unacceptable."

Libyan law

A statement issued by Pc Fletcher's family read: "The family was consulted, has been aware of this for sometime and feels in no way misled."

A Foreign Office spokeswoman denied media reports that the deal was secret and said it would continue to press Libya to allow the Metropolitan Police to visit and complete its investigation.

She also said a still unratified extradition treaty was negotiated with Libya in 2008, but prior to that Libyan law did not allow for extradition for trial.

Even if the treaty was ratified, Libya would retain the ability to refuse extradition, she added.

Last month Scottish authorities released the Lockerbie bomber - Libyan Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi - on compassionate grounds because he is terminally ill.



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