Libyan, Berlin talks bomb victim payments

17th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 May 2004 , BERLIN - Talks on a Libyan offer of compensation for victims of a 1986 disco bombing in Berlin are to resume next month, lawyers said after negotiations on the financial settlement. Hans-Joachim Ehrig, one of the lawyers representing more than 160 claimants, said the Libyans had significantly raised their offer in a "frank and constructive" fourth round of talks and he hoped a deal would be struck at the next meeting in June. The difference between the claims and the sum offered by the Gaddaf

21 May 2004

BERLIN - Talks on a Libyan offer of compensation for victims of a 1986 disco bombing in Berlin are to resume next month, lawyers said after negotiations on the financial settlement.

Hans-Joachim Ehrig, one of the lawyers representing more than 160 claimants, said the Libyans had significantly raised their offer in a "frank and constructive" fourth round of talks and he hoped a deal would be struck at the next meeting in June.

The difference between the claims and the sum offered by the Gaddafi Foundation had been halved. "The objective of achieving compensation is in sight," he told reporters in Berlin.

The club, La Belle, was popular with US soldiers stationed in the then-divided German capital. A blast while the dance floor was crowded killed two servicemen and a woman civilian and injured 200.

In retaliation, the United States carried out air raids against targets in Libya in April 1986, a few weeks after the disco attack.

A Berlin court that jailed several Arab men in 2001 for the attacks ruled that the Libyan intelligence service ordered the La Belle bombing. Last year Libya said it was willing to pay damages.

Attorneys for the Berlin victims are seeking USD 98 million (EUR 81.6 billion) in damages, with USD 600,000 apiece for the 11 persons who were worst wounded. According to Ehrig, Libya's offer for that group had been USD 325,000 per person.

A resolution of the Berlin case would be a further step for Libya to regain full diplomatic acceptance in the West and shed its "rogue state" status.

Tripoli has already agreed to pay a total of USD 2.7 billion to families of people killed in the 1988 bombing of an airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, and similar damage payments in the destruction of a French airliner in Africa.

In December, Libya renounced all its programmes to build weapons of mass destruction, and earlier this year relinquished all suspicious nuclear materials and equipment.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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