[What follows is an excerpt from the Embassy Row column of 3 March on the website of The Washington Times:]
The relatives of victims of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing say they are still seeking justice, not more money, from the Libyan government, which admitted responsibility for the terrorist attack that killed 270 people.
The Victims of Pan Am Flight 103 wrote Friday to Libyan Ambassador Ali Suleiman Aujali to distance the group from a British news report that quoted Libyan Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani, who complained about British and U.S. requests to reopen the investigation into the bombing of the U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988.
“If they want to reopen the case they have to promise not to ask for more compensation,” he told the London Daily Telegraph.
Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi paid the families more than $2 billion in 2003. Gadhafi was overthrown and killed about eight years later.
Frank Duggan, president of the Pan Am relatives group, told the ambassador that the families want no more money.
“Justice is all that our victims’ families seek, and our efforts have never been about monetary compensation, which surely cannot replace lost lives,” he said.
The families support further investigation into the bombing, especially because only one Libyan intelligence officer, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was ever convicted of the attack. A Scottish court sentenced him to life in 2001, but the Scottish government released him in 2009, believing he had terminal cancer and only three months to live. He died last year in Libya.
Mr. Duggan told Mr. Aujali that the Pan Am families hope for the best in the Libyan government. “We hope that your new government can prosper as a democratic state with justice for all of your citizens,” he said.