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DATE=2/26/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-227311
TITLE=WORLD COURT / LOCKERBIE (L ONLY)
BYLINE=GILLIAN SHARPE
DATELINE=THE HAGUE
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 
INTRO:  THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE IN THE HAGUE IS DUE TO
GIVE ITS INITIAL DECISION FRIDAY IN THE ONGOING LEGAL DISPUTE 
INVOLVING LIBYA, THE UNITED STATES, AND BRITAIN OVER THE BOMBING 
OF AN AMERICAN AIRLINER OVER THE THE SCOTTISH TOWN OF LOCKERBIE. 
AS GILLIAN SHARPE REPORTS FROM THE HAGUE, THE CASE CENTERS ON 
WHERE TWO LIBYAN SUSPECTS SHOULD STAND TRIAL.
TEXT:  MORE THAN NINE YEARS AFTER THE BOMBING, THE WORLD COURT --
THE JUDICIAL ARM OF THE UNITED NATIONS -- IS PREPARING TO HAND 
DOWN ITS INITIAL DECISION.  THE RULING WILL BE BASED ON EVIDENCE 
THE JUDGES HEARD DURING PUBLIC HEARINGS INTO THE LOCKERBIE 
DISPUTE LAST YEAR. 
TWO-HUNDRED-SEVENTY PEOPLE DIED IN THE 1988 BOMBING -- 259 
PASSENGERS AND CREW ON THE PLANE AND 11 PEOPLE ON THE GROUND..  
BUT THE THREE COUNTRIES HAVE VERY DIFFERENT VERSIONS OF HOW THAT 
HAPPENED.  
THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN BLAME TWO LIBYAN MEN AND WANT THEM 
EXTRADITED TO STAND TRIAL.  BUT DESPITE U-N SANCTIONS, LIBYA HAS 
REFUSED, SAVING THERE IS  NO  PROSPECT OF A FAIR TRIAL IN EITHER 
BRITAIN OR THE UNITED STATES.  
LIBYA WANTS THE COURT TO RULE THAT THE EXTRADITION DEMAND IS 
ILLEGAL.  IT SAYS INTERNATIONAL SUPPORT FOR A TRIAL IN A NEUTRAL 
THIRD COUNTRY IS GROWING AND IT DISPUTES WHETHER THE EVIDENCE 
AGAINST THE TWO MEN IS REALLY SO COMPELLING. 
RELATIVES OF THOSE WHO DIED AT LOCKERBIE SAY THEY ARE 
DISAPPOINTED BY THE SLOW PACE OF PROCEEDINGS AND THEY ACCUSE THE 
PARTIES TO THE DISPUTE OF BEING INTRANSIGENT.  MANY OF THE 
RELATIVES WANT A COMPROMISE SOLUTION, WITH A TRIAL TAKING PLACE 
BEFORE A SPECIAL TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE. 
BUT THE 15 WORLD COURT JUDGES ARE  NOT  EVEN ADDRESSING THE 
QUESTION OF WHERE A TRIAL SHOULD BE HELD.  THIS INITIAL JUDGEMENT
WILL DECIDE ONLY IF THE WORLD COURT HAS THE LEGAL RIGHT TO 
CONTINUE HEARING THE CASE. 
BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES HAVE WARNED THE COURT  NOT  TO 
INTERFERE WITH THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION WHICH DEMANDS 
EXTRADITION.  THEY SAY THE COURT HAS  NO  JURISDICTION. 
IT COULD BE YEARS BEFORE THE COURT REACHES A FINAL JUDGEMENT.  
THERE IS  NO  RIGHT OF APPEAL, AND ENFORCEMENT IS LARGELY LEFT TO
THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL. 
BOTH THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN ARE PERMANENT MEMBERS OF THE 
SECURITY COUNCIL.  AND SOME OBSERVERS QUESTION WHAT WOULD HAPPEN 
IF THE COURT'S FINAL JUDGEMENT DID IN FACT GO AGAINST THE TWO 
COUNTRIES.. (SIGNED)
NEB/GS/JWH/WFR
26-Feb-98 6:34 AM EST (1134 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
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