Friday, November 21, 2008

Libya Completes Lockerbie Payment

Libya has completed it's transfer of payment of compensation for families of the victims of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. Earlier this week US president George Bush said a "painful chapter" between America and Libya was closing. The completion of payment comes as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's son Seif al-Islam discussed ways to improve US-Libyan ties.

Most of the US victim's families of the tragedy welcomed the news and claimed it to be a "victory in their quest for justice in the case." The payment includes final 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 struck between the US and Libya also calls 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.

The question of whether the payment has any relevance in terms of justice for the Lockerbie victims or has more to do with international deals to explore Libya oil rich resources is one which casts a cloud over the agreement. This cloud of uncertainty and doubt is further compounded while the current on-going appeal by the one man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing continues through the Scottish courts after the review body in Scotland indicated there may have been a 'miscarriage of justice' at the original trial.

Various sources:

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