Wednesday, February 23rd 2011, 12:00 PM
“I’m watching all of this now and it’s extraordinary what’s happening – and it’s wonderful,” she said. “No thanks to our government. I got no justice from anyone, but now I’m getting it as a gift from the Libyan people.”
Cohen, like so many other relatives of the 259 people aboard the doomed plane, was avidly tracking the hourly developments in Libya, where Col. Moammar Khadafy was rapidly losing control of his country.
Libya’s former justice minister, one of several senior officials to defect since Khadafy ordered a military crackdown on protesters Sunday, told a Swedish tabloid that he has proof Khadafy personally ordered the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
That Libya was behind the bombing is not new, but Mustafa Abdel-Jalil‘s claims suggest Khadafy could face an international criminal trial if he survives his revolution.
Abdel-Jalil said Khadafy tried to cover his involvement by doing all he could to spring convicted bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi from a Scottish prison.
“I have proof that Khadafy gave the order about Lockerbie. To hide it, he did everything in his power to get al-Megrahi back from Scotland,” Abdel-Jalil told the Swedish publication, Expressen.
He did not say what the proof was.
The wreckage from Pan Am Flight 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland. Inset is Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.
Thanks to pressure from a British government interested in oil deals with Libya, the cancer-stricken al-Megrahi was freed in August 2009, supposedly because he had only three months to live. He remains alive today.
The families of Pan Am 103 always blamed Khadafy more even than al-Megrahi and were heartened to see him exposed.
“This is what we’ve known all along. It’s really nice that somebody from Libya has finally admitted that this is the way it happened,” said Bob Monetti, of Cherry Hill, NJ, whose 20-year-old son Richard was killed in the bombing.
“This is very comforting. We know nothing happens in Libya without Khadafy’s say so. I say bring him to The Hague.”
“I don’t understand how the world couldn’t foresee there would be a day when his people would force him from power – and it looks like that’s what’s happening,” she said.
Cohen said she was thrilled to see Khadafy teetering, but worried about the people being killed in his bloody last-ditch efforts to stay in power.
“I want him to go, and I hate to think of all the people who will have to die for that to happen,” she said.
Several family members urged President Obama to take concrete action.
“We ought to be doing a lot more to help these people. They are being massacred and we should not just sit and watch,” Cohen said. “At the minimum, he should get out there and say he’s with the Libyan people.”
“Obama should come out today and call for sanctions against Libya. It’s time that the US came out and led the effort for the international community to once again impose sanctions.”
Obama, who has been silent since revolution began convulsing Libya over the weekend, is to make a statement late Wednesday or Thursday, the White House said.
He may call for renewed sanctions on Libya to help push the delusional dictator from power.