Sunday, 29 May 2016

Lockerbie deals

[29 May is an important date in the Lockerbie saga. Here are two BBC News reports relating to events on that date:]

Libya has offered $2.7 billion to compensate families of the 270 victims of the Lockerbie air disaster, a law firm representing the families said.

Each victim's family would receive $10m, but the money would only be handed over piecemeal, as sanctions on Libya were lifted. (...)

The UK Foreign Office welcomed the offer, if genuine, as "a sign that Libya wishes to respond to the requirements of the UN resolutions".

However, a Foreign Office spokesman said Libya had yet to meet all the UN's demands.

The New York law firm of Kriendler and Kriendler gave relatives details of the Libyan offer, which gives a breakdown of how the compensation would be paid.

When UN sanctions are lifted, 40% of the total will be disbursed, and another 40% when the US sanctions are removed.

The remaining 20% will be paid when Libya is removed from the US State Department's list of sponsors of international terrorism. (...)

Relatives said that compensation would close one chapter of the case, but they would still press for an independent inquiry.

The UK Government has published details of a deal struck with Libya on prisoner exchange, which it insists does not cover the Lockerbie bomber's case.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond had voiced concern at Holyrood that Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi could be transferred back to a jail in Libya.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair said no deal had been signed over the future of al-Megrahi. (...)

The memorandum of understanding with Libya was signed last week by Mr Blair during a trip to the country. It was created on 29 May [2007].

It states that the two sides will shortly "commence negotiations" on prisoner transfer, extradition and mutual assistance in criminal law, with a final deal signed within 12 months. (...)

Addressing MSPs, [Alex Salmond] said: "I have today written to the prime minister expressing my concern that it was felt appropriate for the UK government to sign such a memorandum on matters clearly devolved to Scotland, without any opportunity for this government and indeed this parliament to contribute." (...)

He added that while the Scottish Executive supported the UK Government's desire for better relations with Libya, the lack of consultation with Holyrood over the memorandum was "clearly unacceptable".

"This government is determined that decisions on any individual case will continue to be made following the due process of Scots law," the first minister said.

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