Libya ready to accept liability for Lockerbie bombing

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Libyan government was said to have agreed yesterday to accept liability for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, which killed 270 people.

The Libyan government was said to have agreed yesterday to accept liability for the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, which killed 270 people.

Officials from Britain, the United States and Libya held talks in London yesterday as part of negotiations to broker a deal leading to the lifting of United Nations sanctions. Last year Libya said it was prepared to offer compensation totalling $2.7bn (£1.7bn), representing $10m per victim, to the families of those killed when Pan Am flight 103 was blown up over the Scottish border village in December 1988.

But a sticking point has always been the question of accepting responsibility, a condition imposed by the US before sanctions can be lifted.

Foreign Office officials were playing down suggestions last night that Libya was poised to finally accept responsibility but a spokeswoman described the meeting as a "useful session". She added: "We made further progress. Now the delegations are reporting back to the capitals to consult on the next stage."

The series of meetings have been held over the past 18 months. No further talks are scheduled. There was nobody available at the Libyan Embassy in London to comment on the talks.

Last night families of the British victims were still waiting for any news on the suggestions that a breakthrough had been reached.

David Ben Ayreah, a spokesman for the families, said: "The unconfirmed reports of Libya accepting civil responsibility is an interesting development but until we have received categorical confirmation from our legal advisers we feel it would be unwise to make detailed comment.

"If the reports are true it is a welcome development. It does not further our search for the truth or indeed what happened before, during and after the murder of our loved ones over Lockerbie in 1988."

Comments