UK to talk with Libyan rebels about slain officer

AP News
Posted: Aug 30, 2011 12:36 PM
UK to talk with Libyan rebels about slain officer

Britain plans talks with Libya's interim government over the slaying of policewoman Yvonne Fletcher, killed by a shot fired from inside the Libyan embassy during a 1984 protest in London.

A spokeswoman for Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain hopes to send police officers to Libya to continue inquiries aimed at finding Fletcher's killer. She spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government policy.

However, Cameron's office acknowledged that its immediate priorities were helping Libya's new administration provide security and resolve shortages of water and power. The spokeswoman said talks would take place at an appropriate time.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said the interim Libyan government had earlier indicated it would cooperate fully with the Fletcher investigation. But he cautioned the case might be complicated by a Libyan law that prevents the country from extraditing its own citizens to other countries.

"These are all issues we will have to resolve depending on how the police investigation goes," he said.

Fletcher, 25, was killed when officials inside the Libyan Embassy opened fire on a demonstration. The Libyans inside the embassy were eventually allowed to leave Britain and no one has ever been charged with the crime.

Britain broke off diplomatic relations with Libya for 15 years after the shooting. The two countries restored diplomatic relations in 1999 after Libya accepted responsibility for Fletcher's shooting, apologized and agreed to pay her family compensation.

Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi said two years ago that he regretted the killing of Fletcher but did not know who was responsible.