Court Orders ABC To Give Police Flight 103 Interview Tapes With PM-UN-Libya
LONDON (AP) _ The High Court today ordered ABC television to hand over tapes and other records of interviews with two Libyan suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, and the American network agreed to do so.
″I am disappointed, but I have a lot of respect for the High Court,″ said ABC correspondent Pierre Salinger, who conducted the interviews. ″In the United States, we probably would have won this case.″
ABC could have appealed the High Court ruling to the Appeal Court and then, if necessary, to Britain’s highest court, the Law Lords, which is composed of five members of the House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament. There was no immediate comment on why the network did not.
Salinger said ABC would hand over the material by noon on Thursday. ABC and Salinger had argued that the order, made under anti-terrorist laws, was unreasonable and too wide ranging. The High Court dismissed their appeal of a lower court order.
Salinger interviewed Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah in Libya on Nov. 26 and Nov. 27. The United States and Britain believe the two are Libyan intelligent agents, and have issued warrants for their arrests.
The two deny involvement in the bombing of New York-bound Pan Am Flight 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, killing 270 people. Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi denies that the men are intelligence agents and says they would not get a fair trial in the United States or Britain.
Libya faces the threat of U.N. sanctions if it does not turn over the two men, as well as four others wanted in the 1989 bombing of a French airliner in Africa. That bombing claimed 171 lives.
Gadhafi told the Arab League today he would not surrender the two Flight 103 suspects unless the World Court orders him to.