Letter: Lockerbie challenge

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Letter: Lockerbie challenge

Sir: The two Pan Am Flight 103 relatives who met the Foreign Secretary on 24 August did not know from the meeting how limited the progress on Lockerbie has been.

On the face of it, it seemed good that something had been done to break the seven-year impasse. We welcomed the decision by the UK and the US to accept Libya's offer to give up the two bombing suspects for trial in a third country. (Apparently this caused the US no pain as they had long ago given up on the trial being in the US.) We were told the deal required a lot of negotiation separately between Britain and US, and between Britain and the Netherlands, where the trial is supposed to be held under Scottish law. Libya, which would in the end have to be a party to any agreement, was never involved.

For the record, the draft UK-Netherlands agreement has not been signed, nor has the Queen signed the Order in Council necessary for the trial to go ahead. It is not surprising that Gaddafi has not agreed to an offer that lacks substance. Madeleine Albright's telling Libya to take it or leave it was an extraordinary gaffe, but no one has told her off. The UN was put in a silly position as the messenger.

I ask the Government three questions:

1. Do you intend to find out why 36 UK citizens were murdered on Flight 103, who was criminally responsible, and how could it have happened, given the warnings and the intelligence services? (These are not my words but those of Baroness Symons, Minister of State, at a meeting with relatives in March 1998)

2. Do you agree that the relatives want the truth, and that without the truth there can be no justice?

3. Do you agree that if you want the trial, the UK, not the UN, must negotiate directly with Libya?


Burnham Market, Norfolk

The writers' son, Bill Cadman, was on Flight 103