A retired police officer has won a High Court bid to hold a former aide to Colonel Gaddafi jointly liable for the cowardly shooting of Metropolitan Police officer PC Yvonne Fletcher.
The 25-year-old officer was shot and killed while policing a demonstration against the notorious former Libyan leader on 17th April 1981.
PC Fletcher was in St James’s Square when a gunman started to fire indiscriminately towards the officer and her colleagues.
Retired police officer John Murray has brought a civil claim for a nominal amount of £1 against Saleh Ibrahim Mabrouk as part of his long fight to find justice for his dear friend, PC Fletcher.
Mr Murray said that he launched the civil claim “because the authorities were not going to act.”
As Mr Murray gave evidence in central London last Thursday, he said that on the day of Fletcher’s murder, on 17 April 1984, the two officers had been swapping positions as they spoke to people protesting against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime outside the embassy.
“If I had changed places with her once more, it would have been me,” he said.
“But if I’d been shot, I might have survived – she was shot, and she died … I felt very ashamed. She died in my place as far as I was concerned…
“I still have very bad dreams.
“I see Yvonne every day, I know she’s with me here – I know that. She was one of my best friends and I let her down.
“I still feel responsible for what did happen to her.”
Mr Murray said PC Fletcher was about three yards away from him when he heard what he thought was a firework before turning to see his wounded colleague on the ground.
He said as he cradled her head in his hands he promised he would bring her assassin to justice.
Today, a High Court judge found Saleh Ibrahim Mabrouk jointly liable over the killing.
Murray told the court he sent hundreds of letters to the prime minister, home secretary and Metropolitan police commissioner asking about the investigation into Fletcher’s killer but got no response.
When Tony Blair went to see Gaddafi in 2004, Murray was told in advance that Fletcher would be “top of the agenda” and even asked to accompany the prime minister but was met with a refusal.
Murray said he was “disgusted” to find out “it wasn’t discussed.”
“The purpose of the meeting in a tent in the middle of a desert with Gaddafi was for business deals, oil deals, construction deals, nothing to do with Yvonne”, he said.
In a statement following the ruling, Mr Murray said:
“we have finally achieved justice for Yvonne”.
“I am very relieved that it’s finally all over and the court has found in our favour. This has been a battle lasting 37 years. It is a huge weight off my shoulders.
“My promise to Yvonne Fletcher to find those responsible for the shooting and to get justice has taken a huge step forward after all these years.”
He added: “We have faced many obstacles to get here. But, today, we have proven that we were right all along.
“Saleh Ibrahim Mabrouk was responsible for Yvonne’s death.
“Everything we have done leading up to this verdict has been for Yvonne. Today we have finally achieved justice for Yvonne.”
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