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  •   Trial Deal Reported in Pan Am Case


    Associated Press
    Sunday, February 14, 1999; Page A33

    UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 13—Saudi Arabian diplomats told U.N. officials that Libya had agreed to the trial of two Libyan suspects in the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland, a U.N. spokesman said today.

    Saudi officials told U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Friday that the Libyans had accepted a U.S.-British offer, which would include the transfer of the suspects from Libya to the Netherlands, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

    The suspects would be tried in the Netherlands by Scottish judges under Scottish law in the deal, Eckhard said. If convicted, they would be imprisoned in Scotland, he said.

    Libya agreed in principle to the unusual trial arrangement in August, but then balked at the prospect of the suspects, if convicted, facing imprisonment in Scotland for the bombing, which killed 270 people, mainly Britons and Americans.

    In the past five months, numerous press reports have indicated that that a deal might be imminent. But this is the first time that U.N. and senior Saudi officials have gone on record to say Libya had agreed to the U.S.-British proposal.

    In Washington, the State Department said it could not confirm the reported deal. Spokesman James Foley said the only proof of an agreement would be "the actual transfer of the prisoners to the secretary general."

    © Copyright 1999 The Associated Press

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