The United States Congress passed legislation on Friday that allows Libya to settle all pending lawsuits by victims of terrorism. Under the arrangement, Libya will place money into a fund to compensate victims and their families, including those who have not already been awarded compensation in connection to the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie.
Libya is to provide about 800 million dollars for compensation into the fund to settle existing lawsuits and will, in return, be immune from any further legal action.
The agreement is a key part of Libya’s rehabilitation into the United States’ good books which began in 2003 with an agreement to surrender all of its weapons of mass destruction programmes (Libya’s, not the United States’).
However, not everyone is happy with the proposal. In particular, the US law firm Crowell & Moring LLP represents a number of families who have already obtained judgements against Libya in the total sum of Six Billion Dollars. Said judgements are effectively overturned when the new law, the “Libyan Claims Resolution Bill”, comes into force with President Bush’s signature.