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Libya Withholds Lockerbie Payment

From Associated Press

Libya has failed to meet a deadline for a $540-million compensation payment to the families of the 270 people killed in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, the lawyer for the families said Friday.

Libya declined an offer to extend the deadline, which was Thursday, said James Kriendler, a member of a New York law firm.

The government of Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi apparently was annoyed by what it considered the Bush administration’s slow movement in lifting sanctions against the country.

Under an agreement, the payment of $2 million for each family was contingent on State Department action to remove Libya from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

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State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said he had not been informed of Libya’s decision.

The compensation was for Libyan agents’ role in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103, which exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland. Libya already has paid $8 million to each of the families.

The Thursday payment was to have been the third and final one.

Kriendler said he did not attach much significance to the missed deadline. “I hope and believe that we’re going to get back on track,” he said.

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