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Moussa Koussa Defects To London: Facts About Libya's Former Foreign Minister (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 03/31/11 03:20 PM ET   Updated: 05/31/11 06:12 AM ET

Rebels are hailing Moussa Koussa's apparent defection to London as a sign that Muammar Gaddafi's regime is finally cracking under pressure.

Libya's former foreign minister was once praised in a U.S. embassy cable published by WikiLeaks as "a combination of intellectual acumen, operational ability and political weight." However, as the Associated Press is reporting, Koussa still faces rampant speculation over his alleged involvement in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people, many of them Americans.

Long regarded as one of Gaddafi's closest allies, Koussa was expelled from Britain in 1980 after giving an interview advocating the use of violence to silence critics of Libya's government. Britain is now refusing to offer Koussa immunity from prosecution after his defection, which means he could still be prosecuted for past offenses, the AP is reporting.

View a selection of facts about Moussa Koussa, courtesy of Reuters, below:

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Western-educated, Koussa holds an M.A. from Michigan State University in the United States. He speaks fluent English, though prefers not to speak English at public gatherings, instead using a translator.
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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |