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Libyan Suspects Detained in Lockerbie Case

This week's In the News covers the long-awaited detainment and extradition of two Libyans accused of bombing a commercial airliner. On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103, en route from London to New York, exploded over the small town of Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people, including 189 Americans, in an alleged act of terrorism. Yesterday in Tripoli, after ten years of legal squabbling among the US, UK, and Libya, Libyan officials finally surrendered the Lockerbie bombing suspects into the custody of United Nations representatives. Accompanied by their legal advisers, the two suspects, Libyan intelligence agents Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, were taken to Camp Zeist, near the city of Utrecht, the Netherlands, to stand trial. Libyan officials and the suspects agreed to a trial in a neutral location "to prove their innocence to the world." The transfer of the accused occurred as part of an extradition deal between Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi and the UN, a deal brokered by South African President Nelson Mandela and Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. If the extradition deal is conducted smoothly, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to ask the UN Security Council to lift the punitive economic sanctions that it imposed on Libya in 1992. The UN sanctions were the first ever imposed on a sovereign state to force it to remit its citizens for an international trial. Although the venue for this unique international trial is Dutch, it will be governed by Scots law before a bench of three Scottish judges with no jury. If convicted, the suspects will serve life sentences in Scotland under UN supervision. Because of the complex legal issues involved in this case, the trial is predicted to last for several months. The eight resources discussed provide news, analysis, government reports, and background information on the Lockerbie incident.
Archived Scout Publication URL
  • https://scout.wisc.edu/report/ss/1999/0406
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Date Issued
1994
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Date of Scout Publication
April 6th, 1999
Date Of Record Creation
April 7th, 2003 at 1:21pm
Date Of Record Release
April 7th, 2003 at 1:21pm
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