6A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 2, 2003
Libyan charity promises to
repay families in '89 attack
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) - A Libyan
charity said yesterday it would
increase payments to families of those
killed in a 1989 terror attack on a
French airliner, a gesture Libya hopes
will persuade France to agree to lift
In a statement yesterday, the Gad-
hafi International Association for
Charitable Organizations said a pri-
vate "fund for the victims of terror-
ism" it had established would pay
unspecified compensation to the fam-
ilies of the 170 victims of the French
UTA airliner explosion over the Niger
French Foreign Minister
Dominique de Villepin indicated
France might now be ready to see
U.N. sanctions lifted.
"We have always said that we
uphold the principle of lifting sanc-
tions, and of course we will be drawn
very quickly toward a decision," de
Villepin said on RFI radio.
Neither de Villepin nor Libyan
leader Moammar Gadhafi gave details
of the compensation deal.
Francoise Rudetzki, head of a
French advocacy group that helped
victims' relatives, said payments
would not be on par with the $2.7 bil-
lion Libya recently agreed to pay for
another attack - the 1988 Pan Am
bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Under that agreement, families of
the 270 victims will each receive
between $5 million and $10 million.
France was embarrassed by the
Lockerbie accord: In comparison, the
families of the 170 UTA victims
shared a much smaller $33 million set-
tlement under a 1999 agreement with
Libya, getting about $194,000 each.
The foundation has played a major
role in efforts to clean up the Libyan
leader's image. It portrayed yester-
day's agreement as a humanitarian
The Gadhafi foundation added
without elaboration that the compen-
sation agreement also would
"resolve" the cases of six Libyans
convicted by a French court in absen-
tia in 1999 of bombing the plane and
sentenced to life in prison. Libya
never extradited the six and the foun-
dation maintained yesterday that the
six were innocent.
Libya accepted responsibility for
"We uphold the
principle of lifting
sanctions . .. we will
be drawn very quickly
toward a decision."
- Dominique de Villepin
French foreign minister
Lockerbie and handed over two of its
citizens. In 2001, a Scottish court
convicted a Libyan intelligence agent
of the Lockerbie bombing and sen-
tenced him to life imprisonment. A
second Libyan was acquitted.
The Lockerbie agreement opened
the way for Libya to be freed from
U.N. sanctions that limited arms and
oil equipment sales, air travel and
diplomatic links to the north African
The French government had threat-
ened to block a British proposal to lift
the sanctions, saying it wanted a bet-
ter deal for the UTA victims' rela-
LSA freshman Cliff Abat leads Engineering freshmen Auburn Shannon and Simon Roberts in step routines while
practicing on clarinets for the Michigan Marching Band on Elbel Field Thursday.
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