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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More