Scottish Lawyer Says Libyans Won’t Accept Trial in Britain, U.S.
LONDON (AP) _ The two Libyans accused of blowing up Pan Am Flight 103 will never surrender for trial in Scotland or the United States, their Scottish lawyer was quoted today as saying.
The men are prepared to stand trial in an Arab-speaking or Mediterranean country, Alistair Duff said.
″If the British and U.S. authorities refuse to accept a third country there will be no trial ever, anywhere,″ Duff was quoted as saying in The Scotsman newspaper. ″This is a clear, unequivocal statement.″
Duff said his comments were approved by Ibrahim Legwell, the Libyan lawyer who heads the international defense team for the two men.
Legwell, reached by telephone in Tripoli, confirmed that Scotland had been eliminated as a possible venue ″because of their hard-line and unfair position,″ but he said the United States had not.
The U.N. Security Council imposed economic and travel sanctions on Libya in an attempt to force the surrender the men. It is to meet later this week to consider stronger sanctions if the deadlock continues.
Britain and the United States have refused to consider a trial in a third country for the two men - Abdel Baset Ali Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah.
They were indicted in the bombing of the Pan Am jumbo jet over Scotland on Dec. 21, 1988. The bomb killed all 259 people aboard the New York-bound plane, and 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie were killed by debris.
The British Foreign Office gave no sign of being willing to compromise today.
″From our side the bottom line remains the same,″ a spokesman said, speaking anonymously as is British custom. ″We expect the two suspects to be handed over, or hand themselves over, for trial in Scotland or the United States.″
There was no immediate comment from Washington.