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DATE=2/27/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-227378
TITLE=LOCKERBIE / BRITAIN (L ONLY) 
BYLINE=ANDRE DE NESNERA
DATELINE= LONDON
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 
INTRO:  THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT HAS REACTED CAUTIOUSLY TO A RULING
BY THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE IN THE HAGUE THAT IT HAS 
JURISDICTION IN THE DISPUTE INVOLVING LIBYA, BRITAIN AND THE 
UNITED STATES IN THE BOMBING OF AN AMERICAN AIRLINER OVER 
LOCKERBIE SCOTLAND IN 1988.  V-O-A'S ANDRE DE NESNERA REPORTS 
FROM LONDON.
TEXT:  THE INTERNATIONAL COURT IN THE HAGUE HAS RULED IT HAS THE 
LEGAL AUTHORITY TO HEAR THE MERITS OF THE CASE WHICH LIBYA 
INITIALLY BROUGHT TO THE COURT'S ATTENTION MORE THAN SIX YEARS 
AGO. 
LIBYA CONTENDS IT DOES  NOT  HAVE TO HAND OVER TWO LIBYANS 
SUSPECTED OF THE 1988 LOCKERBIE BOMBING -- IN WHICH 270 PEOPLE 
WERE KILLED -- FOR TRIAL IN THE WEST.  TRIPOLI SAYS IT IS WILLING
TO HAVE THE TWO MEN STAND TRIAL IN A NEUTRAL COUNTRY -- A 
PROPOSAL  NOT  ACCEPTABLE TO THE UNITED STATES AND BRITAIN.  THEY
SAY THE TWO MEN MUST BE TRIED EITHER IN SCOTLAND OR THE UNITED 
STATES -- AND THEY ARGUED THE INTERNATIONAL COURT HAD  NO  
JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE. 
A SPOKESMAN FOR BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR SAID THE 
COURT'S RULING WAS "COMPLICATED" AND SAID THE GOVERNMENT WOULD 
NEED TIME TO STUDY IT. 
BUT A SPOKESMAN FOR THE FOREIGN OFFICE DESCRIBED THE COURT'S 
DECISION AS "NEITHER A VICTORY NOR A DEFEAT."  HE SAID IT IS JUST
THE NEXT STEP IN A JUDICIAL PROCESS IN WHICH THE COURT DECIDED TO
LOOK AT COMPLEX ISSUES AT A FULL HEARING.  THE SPOKESMAN SAID 
DURING THAT HEARING, LONDON WILL DEFEND ITS POSITION VIGOROUSLY 
-- NAMELY THAT TRIPOLI MUST SURRENDER THE TWO LIBYANS SUSPECTED 
OF THE LOCKERBIE BOMBING FOR TRIAL EITHER IN SCOTLAND OR THE 
UNITED STATES -- AND NOWHERE ELSE.
A SPOKESMAN FOR THE BRITISH FAMILIES WHO LOST RELATIVES IN THE 
BOMBING -- JIM SWIRE -- TOLD REPORTERS HE IS THRILLED BY THE 
COURT'S DECISION.
                      ///  SWIRE ACT  /// 
         I FEEL PROBABLY UNJUSTIFIABLY OVER-THE-MOON (EXTREMELY 
         PLEASED) ABOUT IT, VERY ELATED.  BECAUSE TO HEAR A 
         LEARNED COURT OF THIS SORT LOOK AT SOMETHING SO 
         OBJECTIVELY AND SO INDEPENDENTLY OF THE RELATIVE POWER 
         OF THE TWO SIDES REPRESENTED IS REALLY VERY REFRESHING. 
         AND THIS IS ONE OF THE WORLD'S MOST EMINENT BODIES OF 
         LAWYERS AND WILL BRING ENORMOUS WISDOM TO THE SPECIFIC 
         PART OF THE LOCKERBIE CONUNDRUM IT HAS BEEN ASKED TO 
         ADDRESS.
                        ///  END ACT  ///
DOCTOR SWIRE -- WHO LOST A DAUGHTER IN THE LOCKERBIE BOMBING -- 
SAYS WHAT THE FAMILIES WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IS TRUTH AND 
JUSTICE.  BUT HE REALIZES IT WILL TAKE SEVERAL MORE YEARS BEFORE 
THE TWO SUSPECTED LIBYAN BOMBERS ARE BROUGHT TO TRIAL AND THE 
WHOLE TRAGEDY PUT FINALLY TO REST.  (SIGNED)
NEB/ADEN/JWH
27-Feb-98 10:17 AM EST (1517 UTC)
NNNN
Source: Voice of America
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