Betrayal of WPc Fletcher as suspect avoids justice
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.