Libya admits downing of Pan Am 103, U.S. ties to be restored

Attorneys: Each victims' family
to receive $10 million

Sunday, March 16, 2003

LONDON Western diplomatic sources said the Bush administration is prepared to end the crisis in relations with Libya.

They said Libya's admission of responsibility for the bombing of a U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 paves the way for a restoration of diplomatic relations between Washington and Tripoli.

"The sticking point that delayed agreement was Libya's acceptance of responsibility for the incident," Libyan ambassador to Britain Mohammed Abdul Zwai said. "This problem has been solved with Libya's admitting to what its employees have done regardless of any other consideration."

Two years ago, a Scottish court convicted a Libyan intelligence agent for the bombing and sentenced him to life in prison. A second Libyan was found not guilty, Middle East Newsline reported.

Abdul Zwai said Libya has not yet reached agreement on compensation for the families of the victims. Attorneys involved in the negotiations have been quoted as saying that Libya pledged to pay $10 million to the family of each victim.

"We have agreed that a suitable compensation should be given to the victims' families, according to the UN Security Council resolution, but the details of the amount has been left for discussion by another team," Abul Zwai said.

U.S. officials have briefed the families of the 270 victims of the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing. The families appear ready to resolve the issue as well.

Britain, Libya and the United States have agreed in principle on ending the Lockerbie episode. The formula required the Libyan admission of responsibility, a major demand by London and Washington. The Libyan compensation package has not yet been finalized.

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