Tripoli, 15 June:
British police, following a three-day visit by two senior detectives to Libya this week, have declined to comment on . . .[restrict]the progress of their investigation into the 1984 murder of PC Yvonne Fletcher.
A Scotland Yard spokesman told Libya Herald last night, “As a policy we don’t make any comment, especially on overseas investigations. But you shouldn’t read anything into that.”
Fletcher was shot dead by gunfire from the Libyan Embassy (then the Libyan Peoples’ Bureau) during a protest in St James’ Square, London. She was policing a protest organised by the anti-Qaddafi Libyan National Salvation Front, when she was fatally shot in the stomach and died later in hospital.
Ten Libyan demonstrators were also injured in the incident. An 11-day siege of the Embassy ensued, ending only when all 30 Libyan diplomats were allowed to leave the country.
However, the British police have never closed the case.
This is the first time since Fletcher’s murder that UK police have been allowed to come to Libya, and follows the London visit in May of interim prime minister Abdurrahim Al-Kib, where he visited the memorial to Fletcher and laid a wreath of white roses and carnations.
The Detective Inspector and Detective Superintendent from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command spent three days in the capital holding preliminary discussions with Libyan officials and looking at ways they could work together to take the investigations forward.
In a statement, Scotland Yard said, “We hope these preliminary discussions will pave the way for the MPS and Libyan authorities to work jointly to identify who was responsible for WPC Fletcher’s murder in 1984.”
Matouk Mohammed Matouk is the only suspect in the case strongly believed to still be alive. Another suspect, Abdulgader Baghdadi, was reportedly killed in Tripoli last year. A third implicated in the murder, Omar Sodani, was captured by rebels but his fate remains unclear. Abdulmagid Salah Ameri, a junior diplomat identified in 2011 as the gunman who shot Fletcher, is believed to have died.
Matouk went on to became a prominent figure in the Qaddafi government. He served as the minister for education and then the minister for housing and construction. He was living near Tripoli but fled before the capital fell.