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Monday, 6 May, 2002, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Lockerbie compensation talks
Lockerbie rememberance stone
A total of 270 people died in the bombing
A leading Glasgow lawyer has travelled to New York discuss how American legal teams are pressing for compensation for the relatives of those who died in the Lockerbie bombing.

The claim can go ahead now that Abdelbasset al-Megrahi has lost his appeal against his mass murder conviction.

It is believed Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi will meet compensation costs to end the country's international isolation following the bombing.

Abdelbaset ali Mohmed al-Megrahi
Al-Megrahi: Found guilty of bombing

The terrorist atrocity in 1988 resulted in the death of 270 people, 259 on board Pan Am 103 and 11 from the small Scottish town of Lockerbie.

Libyan agent al-Megrahi was found guilty of the bombing and in March he failed to have his murder conviction overturned.

Scottish solicitor advocate, Peter Watson, will find out how the American legal team engaged by relatives to pursue compensation after the conclusion of any criminal case, are getting on.

American speculation suggests agreement may be reached within a month.

Last month, a report in Time Magazine suggested Col Gaddafi could be willing to pay as much as $3.5bn (2.4bn).

Compensation deal

Britain and the US have been involved in talks with Libyan officials since the Lockerbie trial ended last year, to agree a compensation deal for the victims' relatives.

Observers believe that in return for compensation Col Gaddafi will expect a resumption of the oil trade currently banned by US sanctions.

The Libyan leader has already agreed to respect the decision of the Scottish Court in the Netherlands.

Al Megrahi was found guilty in January 2001 following a trial under Scottish law in the Netherlands and is now serving his sentence at Glasgow's Barlinnie Prison.

The Libyan's appeal against his conviction was quashed by judges at Camp Zeist on 14 March and he was then transferred to Glasgow's Barlinnie Prison.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Reevel Alderson reports
"Speculation suggests a deal could be reached within a month"
Lockerbie megapuff graphic

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See also:

25 Apr 02 | Scotland
Lockerbie luggage returned
16 Apr 02 | Scotland
Lockerbie trial venue handed back
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