US warns it will not reopen Lockerbie agreement

A file picture taken on December 22, 1988, in Lockerbie, Scotland, shows local residents looking at one of the four engines of Pan Am 103 that exploded killing 270 people. (AFP)

The US will not reopen the agreement concluded with Libya in 2008 that settled US claims against Libya for the terrorist attack on Pan Am 103, the US embassy in Libya confirmed on Tuesday.

The agreement signed with the Gaddafi regime obliged the United States to terminate existing suits for financial compensation in US courts arising out of these incidents and precludes any future suits.

However, the embassy stated that the deal in no way restricts law enforcement cooperation or has any bearing on criminal charges against those responsible for the attack.

Libya’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement early on Tuesday confirming that its Twitter account was hacked after the publication posted a tweet criticizing the extradition of Libyan Abu Agila Masud Al- Marimi to the US for his alleged role in the Lockerbie case.

The unauthorized tweet considered the extradition of Al-Marimi a violation of international human rights law and Libyan law and demanded an investigation into the incident. The Foreign Ministry said it had taken legal action to determine the facts.

For its part, the US embassy confirmed its knowledge that Libya’s Foreign Ministry’s Twitter account was compromised and the information disseminated on the platform regarding the incident was false.

The embassy insists that the transfer of Al-Marimi to US custody to stand trial on charges related to the bombing of Pan Am 103 was lawful and conducted in cooperation with Libyan authorities.

“The transfer followed INTERPOL publishing a Red Notice for Masud in January 2022 requesting all INTERPOL member countries to locate and arrest the defendant for the purpose of transfer to the United States,” the embassy stated.

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