[On this date in 1999 a French court convicted in absentia six Libyans, including Abdullah al-Senussi, for the bombing of UTA flight 772 over Niger and the murder of the 170 passengers and crew. A BBC News report contains the following:]
Colonel Gaddafi's brother-in-law and five other Libyans have been found guilty of bombing a French airliner.
They were sentenced to life in prison by a special court in Paris. However, they were tried in absentia and will be allowed another hearing if they are ever taken into French custody.
The aircraft, a DC-10 operated by the French airline UTA, crashed in Niger in September 1989, killing all 170 people on board. Debris was scattered over hundreds of kilometres in the Sahara desert.
Libya helped France during part of the investigation but did not offer full co-operation and refused to hand over the suspects. (...)
Prosecutors said a package containing a bomb had been planted on a young Congolese with links to Libyan agents in the Congolese capital Brazzaville, from where the UTA flight to Paris had set off.
The prosecution said the six had been working for the Libyan secret service, which is also accused of bombing Pan Am flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988. (...)
Correspondents have highlighted differences between France's handling of the case and the way the UK and US Governments have sought the extradition of those accused of the Lockerbie bombing.
Evidence against the UTA suspects is said to be much stronger than that against the two Lockerbie suspects.
Libya has been under UN sanctions since 1992 in connection with the UTA and Pan Am bombs.
[RB: As with Pan Am 103, Libya eventually paid compensation to the families of those who died on UTA 772. The most detailed account of the UTA 772 bombing and its relationship to Lockerbie is to be found here on The Masonic Verses website.]