Libya yet to work out U.S. cooperation in Benghazi probe

TRIPOLI Wed Oct 3, 2012 12:05am IST

Protesters chant anti-armed militias slogans during a march in Benghazi city, September 21, 2012. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

Protesters chant anti-armed militias slogans during a march in Benghazi city, September 21, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Asmaa Waguih

Related Topics

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya and the United States have yet to agree how a U.S. investigative team will cooperate in a probe into a deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, a senior Libyan official said on Tuesday.

FBI agents were sent to Libya after the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate and a safe house in which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans died. But so far, they have remained in Tripoli and have yet to go to Benghazi.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdel Aziz said the prosecutor general had so far given only verbal approval for a joint investigation.

"We are getting ready for the FBI team to go to Benghazi and meet with our team and start joint investigations together and also visit the site," he said.

"The FBI team is now in Tripoli. There are others who will come maybe soon to join the team ... Hopefully in the coming days we will reach an agreement as to how the (U.S.) team will work with the Libyan team ... We are now in the context of (awaiting) written permission."

Abdel Aziz was speaking after meeting U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Elizabeth Jones in Tripoli. "It is the right of the United States to be involved, exchange information and investigate what happened in Benghazi," Abdel Aziz said.

In Washington, a U.S. official said security was also a factor as to why the FBI team had yet not gone to Benghazi.

"Part of it was security posture, who was going to perform the security was part of it," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said. "What worries me is that crime scene is so stale now and been well-trampled."

The head of Libya's Supreme Court, Kamal Dahan, who also met Jones on Tuesday, told reporters the two countries would cooperate but that Libya would lead the probe. Jones also met Prime Minister-elect Mustafa Abushagur.

The Obama administration has described the assault as a terrorist attack and announced a panel to investigate the events. Its work is separate from the FBI probe.

Libyan officials say eight people have been arrested so far in connection with the attack.

(Reporting by Ali Shuaib; Additional reporting by Tabassum Zakaria in Washington; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

FILED UNDER:

SAARC Summit

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ferguson Riots

Ferguson Riots

National Guard, police curb Ferguson unrest as protests swell across U.S.  Full Article 

Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong riot police clear protest site, arrest student leaders.  Full Article 

Special Report

Special Report

Putin's allies channelled billions to Ukraine oligarch.  Full Article 

Polls 2016

Polls 2016

Romney tops Republican poll for '16; ahead of Clinton in election.  Full Article 

Syrian Crisis

Syrian Crisis

Russia vows support for Syria's Assad to combat "terrorism".  Full Article 

Tackling Jihadis

Tackling Jihadis

INSIGHT - Secular France moves to confront jihadism after slow start.  Full Article 

Award Backlash

Award Backlash

Save the Children under pressure, 100,000 oppose award for Tony Blair.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage