A Libyan official said Sunday angry demonstrations have been staged in front of the French embassy in Tripoli to condemn the decision by the French courts to open an investigation into Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi.
"Libyans demonstrated their anger against the decision of the French judge," said Hassuna al-Shaush, spokesman for the foreign ministry.
According to witnesses, several demonstrations have taken place in front of the French embassy over the last few days.
The inquiry ordered by the French court could lead to charges against the Libyan leader in connection with the downing of a French DC-10 of the UTA airline in 1989, which left 170 dead.
Shaush also condemned what he called a "hostile campaign" against Libya in the French media, particularly over reports of a high unemployment levels among Libyan youth.
"If there is indeed unemployment, it is because of the international sanctions imposed on Libya," said Shaush.
The sanctions imposed by the UN in April 1992 were aimed at forcing Tripoli to hand over two of its nationals accused of blowing up PanAm flight 103 on December 21 1988 over the Scottish village of Lockerbie, killing 270 people.
The sanctions were suspended when the two Libyans in question, Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Amin Khalifa Fhima, were handed over to the Scottish authorities April 5 1999 to be tried in the Netherlands.
A Libyan newspaper Monday said, "The attacks against Moamer Kadhafi can only hurt relations between the Libyan and French peoples."
The newspaper called on France to reconsider the court's decision "faced with the people's anger".
In March 1999, six Libyans, including Kadhafi's brother-in-law Abdullah Senoussi, allegedly the head of Libyan intelligence, were found guilty in absentia by a French court over the downing of the DC-10 and given life sentences -- TRIPOLI (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )