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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 August, 2003, 15:39 GMT 16:39 UK
Impasse over French bombing deal
Wreckage of UTA DC10 blown up over Niger in 1989 (archive)
UTA 772 was flying from Brazzaville to Paris
Relatives of French victims of a 1989 airliner bombing linked to Libya have returned from Tripoli empty-handed after seeking a compensation deal equal to payments offered in the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.

"There was no progress made," Guillaume Denoix de Saint Marc, a spokesman for families of some of the 170 victims of the UTA airliner bombing over Niger, told Reuters.

France has indicated that it would oppose the lifting of United Nations sanctions against Libya if the $34m deal it accepted for the UTA case were not revised upward sharply.

Britain proposed the lifting of sanctions after Tripoli agreed to pay $2.7 billion in compensation over Lockerbie.

The UK wanted to call for a prompt UN Security Council vote on lifting sanctions but put this off until this week to give the French more time to come to an agreement on the UTA payment.

US officials said on Friday that Libya had transferred $2.7bn to the Bank for International Settlements to compensate families of the 270 victims of the Lockerbie bombing.


The tragedy of UTA Flight 772, blown up over the Sahara desert in 1989, has often been forgotten amid the attention given to the fate of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie the previous year.

The French Government accepted a much smaller compensation deal, not negotiated directly with Libya, but ordered by a Paris court in 1999.

This court found six Libyans guilty in their absence and sentenced them to life imprisonment.

Last October these families launched a lawsuit demanding $2.2bn in compensation from Libya.

Colonel Gaddafi and six Libyans said to be intelligence agents were named in the suit.

Libya agrees Lockerbie deal
14 Aug 03  |  Scotland


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