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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 August, 2003, 10:36 GMT 11:36 UK
Lockerbie relatives cautious over deal
Memorial for victims of the Lockerbie bombing
The 1988 Lockerbie bombing killed 270 people
Relatives of those killed in the Lockerbie bombing have given a mixed reaction to news that Libya has formally accepted responsibility for the attack.

The admission by Libya - which came in a letter handed over to the UN on Friday - is part of a deal which will compensate families of the 270 victims with $2.7bn (1.7bn).

But some relatives felt the deal would let Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi "off the hook" and were refusing to accept the cash.

The United States and Britain have told the president of the UN Security Council that Libya had met the conditions required to lift UN sanctions by accepting full blame for the Lockerbie bombing and renouncing terrorism.

Libya's offer
Colonel Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi
Total of $10m (6.3m) for each of the 270 victims' families, paid in stages
About $4m (2.5m) for each family when UN lifts sanctions
Further $4m once the US lifts its sanctions
$2m (1.3m) when Libya removed from list of terror states
The British ambassador to the UN, Emyr Jones Parry, said the UK would be circulating a draft resolution lifting UN sanctions, which may happen as early as Monday.

The deal was greeted with suspicion by British couple Rita and Martin Cadman, who lost their son Bill in the 1988 attack.

Mr Cadman told the BBC: "If Libya say we will pay but you have to stop searching, that will be totally unacceptable.


"I am a bit suspicious about this, I want to know what the conditions are attached to it. "

Mrs Cadman said: "It will only mean something if it helps to uncover the truth."

American mother Susan Cohen lost her daughter and holds Col Gaddafi responsible.

Martin and Rita Cadman
Martin and Rita Cadman lost their son Bill in the bombing
She said: "There is no difference between Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein except that Saddam did not blow up an American plane and Gaddafi did.

"He did something that can never be forgiven, he murdered my daughter and destroyed my life and he cannot be accepted back into the fold.

"Gaddafi will make so much money out of this deal. This is a business deal, a PR campaign for Libyans, it's a slimy, disgusting thing.

"If I were rich, I wouldn't take any of this money but I'm old and alone so I will take this first part."

This is a business deal, a PR campaign for Libyans, it's a slimy, disgusting thing
Susan Cohen
Mother of victim
Eileen Minetti, also American, lost her son in the atrocity. She said the deal was not perfect but she was still pleased.

She told the BBC: "We have come a lot further than that anybody ever thought and got a lot more justice than anyone thought we would ever get 15 years ago.

"I remember people standing in my kitchen telling me we would never know who did it, we would never know how it was done; just accept it and get on. I'm sure glad we never did."

Independent inquiry

The Rev John Mosey, whose 19-year-old daughter Helga died in the bombing, said his family would accept the compensation and he was pleased the settlement would enable Libya to return to the international community.

Gaddafi may be so desperate to get back into the international fold that he would come to this business deal... it doesn't follow that they did it
Tam Dalyell MP
But he said the families would continue to push for an independent inquiry into the bombing.

"For some, I hope the compensation will bring closure. For many of us, it is almost a distraction to finding the truth about why this horrendous thing was allowed to happen in the face of 10 warnings. Why was nothing done?"

Tam Dalyell, the Labour MP for Linlithgow and Father of the House of Commons, is one of those who remains to be convinced the Libyan regime was behind the bombing.

On BBC Radio 4's Today programme he said: "Gaddafi may be so desperate to get back into the international fold that he would come to this business deal.

"It doesn't follow that they did it. And indeed for the first two years, no-one suspected them.

"The issue remains, have we in fact got the right people? There are many of us who doubt it."

The BBC's Daniel Boettcher
"For years Libya denied any involvment in the bombing of flight 103"

BBC Scotland's Nina McLeod
"The people of Lockerbie say they hope the town can finally move on"

Libya admits Lockerbie blame
16 Aug 03  |  Scotland
Libya letter: Full text
16 Aug 03  |  Scotland
Libya agrees Lockerbie deal
14 Aug 03  |  Scotland
Libya makes claims of opening up
19 May 03  |  Africa
Country profile: Libya
16 Jul 03  |  Country profiles


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