Libya deal voided airliner bomb award

Dec. 23, 2008 at 2:12 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Relatives of seven Americans killed in a 1989 airliner bombing are incensed at a deal struck by Washington nullifying their court judgment against Libya.

Plaintiffs in the so-called Pugh case told the Washington Post they stood up to terrorism by suing Libya over the bombing of a UTA jet over Niger.

"For it to be dismissed is beyond comprehension," said Anne Carey, whose mother died in the attack. "Surely, you can't just disregard what a federal court has decided."

Carey is the daughter of Bonnie Pugh, the wife of Carl Pugh, who was the U.S. ambassador to Chad at the time.

The Post said Tuesday that French intelligence investigators traced the bombing to Libya, which led to a court judgment worth $6 billion on behalf of 44 of the 170 people who were killed.

But the deal was scotched when the United States and Libya struck a deal re-establishing diplomatic relations that included nullifying all terrorism-related claims against Libya. The court award was replaced with a $1.5 billion trust fund to which the Pugh claimants will have to apply.

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