Friday, 21 November 2008

Lockerbie families say compensation complete

Nearly two decades after the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, the families of the 180 Americans aboard the plane said Thursday they had received full compensation from Libya for the loss of their loved ones.

At the same time, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's son, who is in Washington on a private visit following an unprecedented phone call this week between his father and President Bush. (...)

Under the agreement worked out between U.S. and Libyan officials in August, Libya agreed to hand over $1.5 billion to finish compensation payments to families of Americans killed on Pan Am 103, those killed and wounded in a 1986 attack on a Berlin disco, and resolve other claims for property and personal damages.

The agreement also called for $300 million in compensation to be paid for the Libyan victims of U.S. airstrikes that were ordered by former President Reagan in retaliation for the Berlin bombing. The Bush administration says no taxpayer money will be used for those payments but has not said where the money is coming from. (...)

Libya completed payments into the compensation fund in late October, clearing the last hurdle in restoration of full normalization of diplomatic relations between Washington and Tripoli, and the Treasury began transfers to the Lockerbie families earlier this month. In return, Bush restored Libya's sovereign immunity from terror-related lawsuits.

[From Matthew Lee of the news agency Associated Press. The full article can be read here. The deal covers the families of all Lockerbie victims, not just the American ones.]

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