USIS Washington 

24 August 1998


(UN Secretary General "extremely pleased" by proposal) (320)

United Nations -- Secretary General Kofi Annan says he is "extremely
pleased" by the offer of the United States and Great Britain for a
trial in the Netherlands of the two Libyans suspected of the Pan Am
103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, and he urged Libya to cooperate.

In an August 24 statement issued by his press spokesman, the Secretary
General said he would provide the Libyan government any assistance it
needed to get the two to the Netherlands, to be tried there before a
Scottish court.

Following is the text of the statement:

(begin statement)

The Secretary-General was informed this morning by the Governments of
the United Kingdom and the United States of their decision to agree to
hold the trial of the two Libyan suspects for the Lockerbie bombing
before a Scottish court sitting in the Netherlands following normal
Scots law and procedures except for the replacement of the jury by a
panel of three Scottish High Court judges.

The Secretary-General was requested by the two Governments to convey
to the Libyan Government a letter and enclosures delivered to his
Deputy this morning, elaborating the American-British proposal. He was
also asked to provide to the Libyan Government any assistance it might
require with regard to the physical arrangements for the transfer of
the two accused directly to the Netherlands.

Over the past months, the Secretary-General has been following this
issue very closely and has been in contact with all three Governments
involved as well as other interested parties. He is extremely pleased
about today's announcement and hopes that all sides will cooperate in
order to reach an early resolution of this long-standing issue. The
Secretary-General is also grateful to the Government of the
Netherlands for its willingness to assist In this matter.

(end text)