Friday, 29 April 2016

Libya admits Lockerbie liability

[This is the headline over a report published on the Sky News website on this date in 2003. It reads as follows:]

Libya will pay £6.29m to each of the 270 victims of the 1988 Lockerbie airliner bombing after accepting civil responsibility for the blast. Foreign Minister Abdel Rahman Shalgham confirmed the £1.69bn compensation deal.
He said. "My country has accepted civil responsibility for the actions of its officials in the Lockerbie affair, in conformity with international civil law and the agreement reached in London in March by Libyan, American and British officials."
Mr [Shalgham] said full payment was conditional on UN sanctions against Libya being lifted after payment of an initial installment of £2.5m to each victim.
Sanctions imposed by the US would be lifted after a similar payment.
And after a final installment of around £1.25m, Libya would ask to be removed from the US list of countries supporting terrorism.
The £1.69bn total sum Libya will pay is the same as US officials said Libya had offered on March 12 as compensation in talks with the US and Britain.
They also said Tripoli was prepared to assume limited responsibility for the downing of Pan Am flight 103, something it has previously refused to do.
The Boeing 747 blew up and crashed over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988, after taking off from London, killing all 259 people on board and another 11 on the ground.
In January 2001, a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands convicted Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, one of two Libyan agents charged with the bombing, and sentenced him to life in prison.
His appeal was rejected in March last year.

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