Pan Am 103 Families Finally Compensated

Libya has deposited $1.5 billion for US victims of Libyan terror.

ByABC News
October 31, 2008, 4:51 PM

October 31, 2008— -- Libya has finally completed compensation payments to the families of US victims of Libyan terror attacks, including the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988. The move ends years of wrangling and clears the way for the full normalization of relations between Washington and Tripoli.

"Libya's decision to resolve outstanding claims through the U.S.-Libya Claims Settlement Agreement is a laudable milestone in our bilateral relationship; providing a measure of justice to families of U.S. victims of terrorism and clearing the way for continued and expanding U.S.-Libyan partnership," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Libya deposited a total of $1.5 billion for American victims of Libyan bombings of Pan Am Flight 103 and the bombing of a German disco, the State Department said today. The money is part of a $1.8 billion deal reached this summer between the United States and Libya to settle outstanding terror claims held by terror victims from both countries. The remainder, $300 million, has not yet been paid and will go towards compensating Libyan victims of US air strikes following the disco bombing.

As part of the deal the US agreed to provide Libya with immunity in US courts from further terror claims once the funds had been paid.

Before this year's deal, Libya had not completed settlement payments, stemming from a 2003 agreement, to the families of Flight 103 victims. Libya had agreed to pay $2.7 billion in compensation, or $10 million to each family of the 270 victims, but the final $2 million installment owed to each family had still not been paid. Libya was supposed to pay it when the US removed it from its list of states that sponsor terrorism in 2006, but that did not happen within a timeline agreed to in the settlement.

Several key lawmakers have held up the appointment of a US ambassador in Tripoli until the reparation payments were completed.

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), who has been one of the most vocal advocates for US victims of Libyan terror, welcomed today's announcement.