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Reverend John Mosey: "A trial anywhere is better than no trial at all"
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Jack Schultz: "It is much more than the trial of two individuals"
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Jane Swire: "This has been a very tense time"
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Tony Blair: "It shows people will in the end be brought to justice"
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Robin Cook: "When the two suspects arrive we will suspend sanctions"
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banner Friday, 21 April, 2000, 11:56 GMT 12:56 UK
Libyans handed over for trial
lockerbie
Town of Lockerbie devastated by bombing
The two Libyans charged with causing the Lockerbie bombing were handed over for trial on 5 April, 1999.

Relatives of those who died welcomed the move, saying it represented the start of "serious business".

Lockerbie
Speaking to BBC News 24, Reverend John Mosey, whose daughter Helga died in the tragedy, said the trial "removes a major obstacle" to an investigation into how the bombing was allowed to happen.

And speaking for the group Victims of Pan Am Flight 103, Jack Schultz said it could lead to the conviction of "unindicted co-conspirators" like the state of Libya.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair praised the relatives as "extraordinarily patient people" and said it was a "marvellous thing" that the two suspects had been "brought to justice".

UK Foreign Secretary Robin Cook described it as an "historic moment".

Abdel Baset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah are now in Scottsih custody in the Netherlands.

Under the terms of an agreement brokered by South Africa's President Nelson Mandela, the two men will be tried under Scottish law.

The unique court of three judges will hear the case against the pair, who stand accused of using a suitcase bomb to blow up Pan Am Flight 103 over the town of Lockerbie with the loss of 270 lives - 11 of them townsfolk killed by falling debris.

Rev Mosey said that "after almost 10 years of battering at the door of our government ... and constantly being told it was totally impossible " a trial a neutral country was going to happen.

He attributed the change to Prime Minister Tony Blair, who "heard the voice of the families" and started the process that led to the deal.

Jane Swire, whose daughter Flora died in the blast, also paid a personal tribute to the efforts of the UK foreign secretary and prime minister in bringing the two suspects to trial.

"We're very grateful to Robin Cook and Tony Blair for breaking the deadlock and enabling this to happen," she said.

But Rev Mosey said that the trial was not the end of the Lockerbie issue, rather that a criminal prosecution would remove "the huge obstacle" to an investigation of the circumstances leading up to the bombing.

"Then we can get on with the real business of finding out who knew what and why this whole business was allowed to happen after so many warnings," he said.


Nose of Flight 103 lying near Lockerbie
Wreckage: The remains of Flight 103's cockpit
Mr Schultz also welcomed the handing over the two men and hinted at the wider implications of the forthcoming trial.

"It is much more than the trial of two individuals ... It means the world will know what the evidence is," he said.

Dr Jim Swire, husband of Jane Swire and spokesman of UK Families Flight 103, was pleased that the suspects were finally on their way to the Netherlands.

But he said a trial would not "tell us who originated the plot and it's not going to tell us why British intelligence did absolutely nothing in 1988 to protect our loved ones".

The deadline for the surrender of the two men was 6 April. In return, the UN will suspend sanctions against Libya and remove them completely after 90 days.

Rev Mosey said he supported the dropping of sanctions, saying: "If the United Nations has said it, then in all justice and righteousness it should happen."

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16 Feb 99 | Lockerbie
Look back at Lockerbie
20 Mar 99 | Lockerbie
The trail to trial
18 Dec 98 | Lockerbie
Rising from the ashes
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