Saturday, 27 August 2016

UN Security Council welcomes Lockerbie trial plan

[On this date in 1998 the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution welcoming the proposal made by the United Kingdom and the United States for a trial before a Scottish court in the Netherlands of the Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing, and directing all UN member states to cooperate with it. A press release issued by the Security Council reads as follows:]

The Security Council tonight welcomed a joint United Kingdom-United States initiative for the trial of the two suspects before a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands, as well as the willingness of the Netherlands Government to cooperate in implementing this initiative. It called on the Governments of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to take the necessary steps to implement the proposal, including the conclusion of arrangements to enable the court to exercise jurisdiction in the terms of the agreement between the two Governments.
The Council also demanded again that the Libyan Government comply without delay with its resolutions relating to the terrorist bombings of a United States airliner, Pan Am flight 103 in 1988, and a French airliner, Union de transports aeriens (UTA) flight 772, the following year.
By the terms of its resolution (1192 [1998]), adopted unanimously, the Council decided that the Libyan Government should ensure the appearance of the two accused in the Netherlands for trial, and also ensure that any evidence or witnesses in Libya were promptly made available to the court upon request. It decided further that the suspects should be detained by the Dutch Government on arrival in the Netherlands and asked the Secretary-General to assist the Libyan Government with the physical arrangements for their transfer from Libya directly to the Netherlands.
The Council reaffirmed that the wide range of aerial, arms and diplomatic sanctions it imposed against Libya by its resolutions 748 (1992) and 883 (1993) remained in effect and binding on all Member States. It decided, however, that they would be suspended immediately once the Secretary- General reported that the two accused had arrived at the Netherlands for trial, or had appeared before an appropriate court in the United Kingdom or the United States, and that the Libyan Government had satisfied French judicial authorities investigating the 1989 bombing of UTA flight 772 over Niger, in which 171 people died. A total of 270 people were killed in the air and on the ground when a bomb aboard Pan Am flight 103 exploded over the Scottish village of Lockerbie on 21 December 1988.
The Council expressed its intention to consider additional measures if the two accused did not arrive or appear for trial promptly in the Netherlands. It invited the Secretary-General to nominate international observers to attend the trial.
(By its resolution 731 [1992], the Council demanded immediate compliance by Libya to the requests made to it by France, the United Kingdom and the United States to cooperate fully in establishing responsibility for the terrorist acts against the two airliners. Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, the Council by resolutions 748 [1992] and 883 [1992] repeated those demands. Resolution 883 [1993] also required Libya to ensure that the two accused in the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 appeared for trial in the appropriate United Kingdom or United States court.)
Statements were made by the representatives of the United States, Portugal, France, Brazil, Russian Federation, Japan, Sweden, Gambia, Bahrain, Costa Rica, Gabon, China, Slovenia and the United Kingdom. A representative of Libya also spoke.
The meeting, which was convened at 9:44 pm, adjourned at 11:10 pm.

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