Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Belqasem Zwai. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Belqasem Zwai. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday 19 April 2015

"A fair and just trial ... in a neutral country"

[What follows is excerpted from an article on The Pan Am 103 Crash Website, which is itself based partly on a report from this date in 1998 by the Libyan news agency JANA:]

Jim Swire held talks in Libya on Saturday with the justice minister about the trial for two suspects in the attack, Libya's official news agency reported on the 19th April. J[im] Swire, and victims' legal adviser Robert Black met Justice Minister Mohammed Belqasim al-Zuwiy [or Zwai] after arriving in Tripoli.

They discussed suggestions by Swire and Black “concerning reaching ... a fair and just trial of the two suspects in a neutral country,” Libya's official news agency, JANA, reported. Swire and Black drove 215 miles from Tunisia to the Libyan capital Saturday, Swire's spokesman, David Ben-Aryeah, said in London. Swire told Ben-Aryeah he was grateful for the “efficient and warm welcome” they received.

Black and Swire held talks in Tripoli this week with Legwell and Libyan foreign affairs and justice officials.

The most important meeting was held with the Libyan lawyer for Fhima and Megrahi in Tripoli, Dr Ibrahim Legwell. Ibrahim Legwell said he told Scottish lawyer Robert Black and Jim Swire, that his two Libyan clients were ready to stand trial under Scottish law in a neutral country.

“We agreed on several basic points and details,” Legwell told Reuters in a telephone interview from the Libyan capital Tripoli. “I confirmed to them, as I have done previously, that my clients would stand for trial before such a court, which will be set not in Scotland nor the United States, but in a neutral country,” he added. “We also agreed that it would be established with an international panel of judges to be agreed upon and presided over by a senior Scottish judge. The court would operate under the criminal law and procedures of Scotland,” he added as well.

“We also are very concerned about how to ensure the safety, the security and the rights for our clients pending, during and after the trial,” he said. Legwell said Libya's Justice Minister Mohamed Belqasem Zwai, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Abdel Ati al-Obeidi, and Libya's representative at the UN, Abouzid Omar Dorda, attended part of his meetings with Black and Swire when these issues were discussed.

Zwai said he expected a settlement of the dispute over where to hold the trial. ”We expect we will reach a solution that satisfies all parties before the World Court issues its decision,” he told reporters in Cairo late Monday.

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.]