Tuesday, 2 December 2014

More steps on the road towards a Lockerbie trial

[What follows is the text of an Associated Press news agency report issued on this date in 1997:]

UN officials are heading for Scotland to analyze whether suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 can receive a fair trial there.

UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters Tuesday that the three UN officials will arrive in London Wednesday and travel to Lockerbie, Scotland, to visit prison and court facilities.

Britain invited Secretary-General Kofi Annan to send representatives to Scotland after Arab and African countries complained that two Libyans indicted in the bombing could not receive a fair trial in Scotland or the United States.

The plane exploded in the air and crashed near Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, killing 270 people.

But Libya has refused to extradite the suspects, demanding the trial be held in a neutral country. The UN Security Council banned international flights to and from Libya in 1992 to demand that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi surrender the pair.

But diplomats of several countries, including Russia, have said they believe it is time to find a solution and end the sanctions against the Libyan regime.

Also Tuesday, Eckhard said Annan had agreed to send a UN delegation to Libya to look into the effects of the aviation sanctions.

[RB: It was only on 24 August 1998 that the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States at last accepted the solution of a neutral venue trial to be held under Scots Law that had been agreed to in writing by the Libyan Government and the Libyan defence team on 12 January 1994. The Western media, of course, throughout supinely punted the UK/US line that the delay in bringing Megrahi and Fhimah to trial had been attributable to Libya.]

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