News / USA

    Clinton: Libyans Will Take Up Lockerbie Case

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Libya’s transitional leaders assured her Thursday they will take up the case of the former Libyan intelligence agent convicted in the 1988 bombing of a U.S. PanAm jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland. The Libyan, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, is said to be near death from cancer at his home in Tripoli.

    Clinton says she shares the anger of the families of the more than 200 Americans killed in the Libyan backed terrorist attack.

    But she is resisting calls from the U.S. Congress that the administration withhold the return of frozen Libyan assets to Libya’s transitional authority unless Megrahi is jailed.

    In 2001, a special Scottish court in the Netherlands convicted the former Libyan intelligence official of being behind the Lockerbie bombing.  

    In a decision condemned by the United States, Scottish authorities released him two years ago on the belief he was dying of cancer, and Megrahi returned to a hero’s welcome from the Gadhafi government.

    Clinton raised the Meghrai case in a meeting with senior members of Libya’s National Transitional Council, the NTC, on the sidelines of Thursday’s ‘Friends of Libya” conference in Paris.

    At a closing press event, Clinton said Megrahi, reported by relatives to be in grave condition in Tripoli, should be returned to prison, and that the United States wants access to all Libyans who may have been involved in the 1988 attack.

    She said the NTC leaders promised to give the case early consideration but she did not link it to the return of impounded Libyan funds.

    “We recognize the magnitude of all of the issues that the TNC is facing. And we know that they have to establish security, the rule of law, good governance. But at the same time, they’ve assured us that they understand the sensitivities surrounding this case, and they will give the matter the consideration it richly deserves, at the earliest opportunity,” she said.

    Clinton said in Paris the United States has transferred to the NTC about half of the $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets approved for release by the U.N. sanctions committee last week.

    The Obama administration froze more than $30 billion in Libyan assets in line with U.N. sanctions against the Gadhafi regime, but most of it is in real estate and other non-liquid assets.

    A bipartisan group of U.S. legislators led by New York Senator Charles Schumer had asked Clinton to make the funds release contingent on Megrahi’s return to jail.

    Many of the Americans killed in the attack were college students from New York.

    Clinton, who also represented that state in the U.S. Senate, said she has never wavered in her view that Megrahi should not have been freed, and stressed the U.S. Justice Department is keeping the Lockerbie case open.

    A total of 270 people - PanAm passengers and people on the ground in Scotland -- were killed in the 1988 bombing.

    Without accepting responsibility for the attack, the Gadhafi regime in 2003 -- seeking to end its political isolation- agreed to pay $2.5 billion in compensation to victim's families.

    Not all of the compensation money was delivered.

    Thursday, six members of the U.S. House of Representatives said in a letter to Clinton that unpaid compensation should be deducted from still-impounded Libyan funds.

    They said more should be set aside for U.S. victims of other terrorist attacks that the Gadhafi government is believed to have sponsored.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora