Camp Zeist, Netherlands - A Libyan double agent testifying in the Lockerbie bombing trial claimed on Wednesday that Libya's leader, Muammar Gaddafi, was a Freemason.
Under cross-examination by a lawyer for two Libyans accused of planting the bomb that destroyed a Pan American airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, Abdul Majid Giaka was asked: "How did you discover that Colonel Gaddafi is a Mason?"
It was one of the few times Gaddafi's name has been evoked during the trial and Majid, a Libyan agent in Malta who turned CIA informer and defected to the United States in 1991, at first refused to answer the question.
But after the presiding judge, Lord Ranald Sutherland, instructed the witness to respond, Majid said: "I know that from a person, but I cannot divulge the identity of that person. That person is in Libya."
A lawyer for the defence, Richard Keen, told the court that Majid made the claim to his CIA contacts and said that Libya's foreign minister and the Maltese president at the time were also members of the secretive Masonic order.
The trial of two Libyans accused of planting the bomb that destroyed Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in December 1988 began last May after Gaddafi surrendered the accused to a special Scottish court in Holland.
But the Libyan leader - who denies his regime was involved in the attack that killed 270 people - has almost never been mentioned during the proceedings.
The accused have pleaded not guilty. - Sapa-AFP