(178)  Lockerbie developments

There have been several developments in the aftermath of the Lockerbie trial and the jailing in Barlinnie of the Libyan convicted of carrying out the bombing of the PanAm jet over the Scottish town in 1988.  In May 2002 it was reported that Libya had offered $2.7 billion dollars in compensation to the families of the 270 victims of the crime.  Each family would receive $10 million, but the money would be handed over gradually as the UN sanctions against Libya were lifted.  The UN has indicated that sanctions will not be lifted until Libya admits responsibility for the bombing.  It appears that the compensation offer comes from Libyan business interests rather than the Libyan government, and responsibility continues to be denied by the latter.  On 10 June 2002 Nelson Mandela, the former President of South Africa who played a key role in setting up the Lockerbie trial (see Nos 25 and 52 below), visited Megrahi in Barlinnie and thereafter called for him to be transferred to a prison in a trusted Muslim third country, criticising the fact that he was being held in a special segregated unit; but this call was rejected by British and Scottish government.  Mandela indicated that he would be returning to Scotland in July 2002 to meet the families of the victims of the disaster.