Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Eleventh anniversary of Libyan settlement offer to Lockerbie families

Libya has offered $2.7 billion to settle claims by the families of those killed in the Pan Am 103 bombing, with payments tied to the lifting of US and UN sanctions, according to lawyers representing some families.

The proposed settlement would work out to $10 million per family, according to a letter from the families' lawyer detailing the offer. It includes relatives of those killed on the ground in the Scottish town of Lockerbie. But compensation would be paid piecemeal, with installments tied to the lifting of sanctions.

The letter says 40 percent of the money would be released when UN sanctions are lifted; another 40 percent when US commercial sanctions are lifted; and the remaining 20 percent when Libya is removed from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Jim Kreindler, of Kreindler & Kreindler, the firm representing 118 victims' families said the families are "seriously considering" the Libyan offer.

[From the Compensation from Libya section of the Wikipedia
article Pan Am Flight 103:]

On 29 May 2002, Libya offered up to US$2.7 billion to settle claims by the families of the 270 killed in the Lockerbie bombing, representing US$10 million per family. The Libyan offer was that:
  • 40% of the money would be released when United Nations sanctions, suspended in 1999, were cancelled;
  • another 40% when US trade sanctions were lifted; and
  • the final 20% when the US State Department removed Libya from its list of states sponsoring terrorism. (...)

Compensation for the families of the PA103 victims was among the steps set by the UN for lifting its sanctions against Libya. Other requirements included a formal denunciation of terrorism—which Libya said it had already made—and "accepting responsibility for the actions of its officials".

On 15 August 2003, Libya's UN ambassador, Ahmed Own, submitted a letter to the UN Security Council formally accepting "responsibility for the actions of its officials" in relation to the Lockerbie bombing. The Libyan government then proceeded to pay compensation to each family of US$8 million (from which legal fees of about US$2.5 million were deducted) and, as a result, the UN cancelled the sanctions that had been suspended four years earlier, and US trade sanctions were lifted. A further US$2 million would have gone to each family had the US State Department removed Libya from its list of states regarded as supporting international terrorism, but as this did not happen by the deadline set by Libya, the Libyan Central Bank withdrew the remaining US$540 million in April 2005 from the escrow account in Switzerland through which the earlier US$2.16 billion compensation for the victims' families had been paid. The United States announced resumption of full diplomatic relations with Libya after deciding to remove it from its list of countries that support terrorism on 15 May 2006.

On 24 February 2004, Libyan Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem stated in a BBC Radio 4 interview that his country had paid the compensation as the "price for peace" and to secure the lifting of sanctions. Asked if Libya did not accept guilt, he said, "I agree with that." He also said there was no evidence to link Libya with the April 1984 shooting of police officer Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan Embassy in London. Gaddafi later retracted Ghanem's comments, under pressure from Washington and London.

[It is for negotiating this compensation settlement that former Foreign Minister Abdel Ati al-Obeidi and former London ambassador Mohammed Belqasem al-Zwai are awaiting trial in Tripoli for wasting state funds.]

1 comment:

  1. MISSION LOCKERBIE, 2013- doc. nr. 9951.rtf::

    The settlement to Lockerbie families came not from the Libya government ! The payment came from Saif El Islam Foundation - the private Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Organisation (GIFCO) in Genéve.

    Excerpt from a interview with SAIF EL ISLAM (August 16th, 2006 - National Review Online, by Amir Taheri) >>>

    TAHERI: Let us focus on one charge. A senior former intelligence official from your country has been found guilty of organizing the destruction of the PanAm 103 jetliner which led to the death of 270 people over a decade ago.
    President de la Fondation Gaddafi de Bienfaisance Internationale.

    SAIF EL ISLAM EL GADDAFI: The trial to which you refer was far from fair and proper. I believe that the man who was sentenced to life imprisonment is innocent.
    The evidence used at the court was of the flimsiest kind possible and some of the witnesses were clearly working for the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

    TAHERI: But the Libyan government paied $ 2,7billion in compensation to the families of the victims. Is that not an implicit admission of guilt?

    SAIF EL ISLAM EL GADDAFI: The payment to which you refer has not come from the government. It has been made by a nummber of Libyan businessmen who want an end to sanctions imposed by the United Nation and the United States.

    by Edwin and Mahnaz Bollier, MEBO Ltd. Telecommunication Switzerland. URL: