Be­trayal of WPc Fletcher as sus­pect avoids jus­tice

The Sunday Telegraph - - Front Page - By Christo­pher Hope and Robert Men­dick

THE Gov­ern­ment has been ac­cused of en­sur­ing the prime sus­pect in the mur­der of WPc Yvonne Fletcher will never face jus­tice by se­cretly bar­ring him from re­turn­ing to Bri­tain.

The Sun­day Tele­graph can dis­close that Saleh Ibrahim Mabrouk, a Libyan who has been liv­ing in Read­ing for a decade, was told that he was “ex­cluded” from this country in Jan­uary 2019 by the Home Of­fice.

There are now fears that no one will ever be held to ac­count for the mur­der of WPc Fletcher, who was killed by shots fired from the Libyan em­bassy in Lon­don in 1984.

The decision to bar Mabrouk from Bri­tain comes as the Gov­ern­ment said it had no pow­ers to de­port Libyan asy­lum seek­ers be­cause to do so would breach their hu­man rights ow­ing to the dan­gers posed there.

Mabrouk is the only per­son ever ar­rested in con­nec­tion with WPc Fletcher’s mur­der. He was a se­nior mem­ber of the “rev­o­lu­tion­ary com­mit­tee” that ran the Libyan em­bassy at the time of WPc Fletcher’s mur­der and was ex­pelled from Bri­tain in the af­ter­math.

In 2000 he was al­lowed back into the UK a year af­ter Tony Blair re­stored diplo­matic re­la­tions with Libya.

Mabrouk, who set­tled in Read­ing in 2009, had been ar­rested on sus­pi­cion of con­spir­acy to mur­der WPc Fletcher in 2015, but the case against him was dropped in 2017 on the grounds of na­tional se­cu­rity.

John Mur­ray, a re­tired Metropoli­tan Po­lice of­fi­cer who cra­dled WPc Fletcher as she lay dy­ing, wrote shortly af­ter­wards to Am­ber Rudd, then home sec­re­tary, urg­ing her not to de­port Mabrouk as he was plan­ning a pri­vate civil case in the High Court.

Mr Mur­ray started his civil ac­tion in Novem­ber 2018. But just six weeks later Mabrouk was told by the Gov­ern­ment that he was be­ing “ex­cluded” from the UK in a let­ter from the home sec­re­tary that said: “Your pres­ence here would not be con­ducive to the pub­lic good, due to your sus­pected in­volve­ment in war crimes and crimes against hu­man­ity in Libya.”

Last night Mr Mur­ray, 64, whose crowd­funded at­tempt to bring a case against Mabrouk is sup­ported by for­mer and serv­ing po­lice of­fi­cers, said the decision to bar the Libyan from the UK meant “the Home Of­fice has got blood on its hands”. Mr Mur­ray

con­tin­ued: “This is the last chance we have to bring any­one to jus­tice.

“Af­ter 36 years they [the UK gov­ern­ment] are hop­ing I am go­ing to go away. I know they don’t want this case to come to court and I know they don’t want the ev­i­dence aired in pub­lic but that is ex­actly what we are go­ing to do.”

He added: “This is the UK. We are ap­par­ently a law­ful and civilised country – these things don’t hap­pen there. Oh yes they do, as I found out.”

Yvette Cooper, the chair­man of the Com­mons home af­fairs select com­mit­tee, said the level of se­crecy around the case meant that it should be in­ves­ti­gated by Par­lia­ment’s in­tel­li­gence and se­cu­rity com­mit­tee.

The Home Of­fice de­clined to com­ment. A source said that it did not rou­tinely com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases, adding that the UK has not been able to de­port in­di­vid­u­als to Libya since 2014, a po­si­tion which was con­firmed by the courts in 2017.

Mabrouk did not re­spond to a se­ries of ques­tions for­warded to his le­gal team by The Sun­day Tele­graph yes­ter­day.

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