German court to review Libya terror case
14 June 2004, LEIPZIG - The German high court Tuesday will review prison sentences of four people convicted of the deadly Libyan-sponsored bombing of a West Berlin nightclub in 1986 that prompted US air strikes against Libya a few weeks later.
14 June 2004
LEIPZIG - The German high court Tuesday will review prison sentences of four people convicted of the deadly Libyan-sponsored bombing of a West Berlin nightclub in 1986 that prompted US air strikes against Libya a few weeks later.
The two-day hearing by the Bundesgerichtshof, which handles non-constitutional legal issues, comes as negotiators for the Libyan government and for victims and survivors of the bombing appear to be near agreement on millions of dollars in compensation.
Lawyers in Germany said talks with Libyan officials over the weekend made progress and that a final round of negotiations will be held next week between victims' lawyers and a Libyan foundation.
At issue is how many millions of dollars in damages will be paid to 160 persons wounded when a bomb exploded 18 years ago in the La Belle nightclub, popular with US servicemen in Berlin.
The Berlin blast on 5 April 1986 killed two servicemen and a woman civilian and injured 160. In retaliation, the United States carried out air strikes against targets in Libya a few weeks later.
A Berlin court that jailed the bombers in 2001 for the bombing ruled that Libyan intelligence was the instigator.
The prime defendant, Verena Khanaa, 45, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison. Lesser sentences were handed down to her Palestinian husband Ali Khanaa, 45, another Palestinian Yassir Khraidi, 44, and Libyan citizen Musbah Eter, 47.
The high court will be considering a prosecution appeal for increasing the sentences to life imprisonment.
Tripoli has already agreed to pay a total of 2.7 billion dollars to families of people killed in the 1988 bombing of an airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, and similar damages for the destruction of a French airliner in Africa.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder reportedly has made a visit to Tripoli contingent on a compensation agreement.
Subject: German news