Washington - Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today introduced legislation requiring the new Libyan government to fully cooperate with any U.S. Government investigation into the 1988 Pan Am 103 bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland or any other terrorist attacks associated with the Qaddafi government against Americans. The bill requires the President to certify full cooperation by the Transitional National Council (TNC) or any successor government before releasing Libya's frozen assets, estimated at $30-36 billion, for any purpose other than humanitarian assistance and to consider Libyan cooperation when making decisions about potential U.S assistance. Senators Lautenberg, Schumer and Gillibrand joined as original cosponsors of the legislation.
"The goal of the Pan Am 103 Accountability Act is to make clear the intensity of United States' interest in the Pan Am bombing and to find answers and achieve justice on behalf of the victims' families. After nearly 23 years, the political change in Libya represents the best opportunity to learn who, beyond Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, is responsible for the December 21, 1988, bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 that killed 270 people, including 189 Americans. Although Megrahi alone was convicted of conspiracy for planting the bomb that brought down Pan Am Flight 103, it has always been known that he did not act alone. We still do not know who ordered the bombing, who collected the intelligence to carry out the plan, who made the bomb and who - in addition to Megrahi - bears responsibility for this and other heinous attacks. It is my hope that the new Libyan government will be forthcoming with their cooperation and recognize that a reconciling of the past is crucial to Libya's future as a member of the community of democratic nations," Menendez said.
"The investigation into the Pan Am 103 bombing that murdered 270 people, including 189 Americans, must continue and we will not rest until justice has been served," Lautenberg said. "With a new Libyan government must come a new commitment to find out the truth and hold accountable all those involved in the terrorist attacks carried out by the Qaddafi regime. This legislation takes important steps to ensure cooperation from the new government in Libya."
"As the United States considers the level of support it will grant to the new Libyan government, it must demand that any level of support be conditioned on the new government's willingness to deliver the Lockerbie bomber to justice," said Senator Schumer. "This should be straightforward and simple: if you want American support, you must deal with al-Megrahi. If the new government wants credibility on the world stage it will bring al-Megrahi to justice or face the consequences in this bill."
"The release of Al-Megrahi was a total miscarriage of justice. His participation in good health at a pro-Qaddafi rally recently was another slap in the face not just for the families of the Lockerbie victims, but for all Americans and all nations of the world who are committed to bringing terrorists to justice. If we're ever going to win the fight against international terrorism, the rule of law must hold strong. Now that there has been a change of government in Libya, we must get all the information we can learn about the Lockerbie bombing and hold all those responsible accountable." Said Senator Gillibrand.