The Rt. Hon. Sir John Major KG CH

Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 1990-1997

1997Prime Minister (1990-1997)

PMQT Written Answers – 28 February 1997

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 28th February 1997.



Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer of 20 February, Official Report, column 1042, what factors led him to conclude that it was doubtful that the Libyan Government would deliver the suspects for trial in The Hague under a Scottish judge under Scottish rules of evidence.

The Prime Minister: The Libyan Government may have said they accept the holding of the Lockerbie trial in a third country, and a trial in The Hague is one such proposal. But they have not said that they will ensure the appearance of the accused at any such trial. Despite agreeing in 1993 that a trial in Scotland would be fair, they have argued that they cannot compel the accused to stand trial there, or in the United States, in the absence of a bilateral extradition agreement with either country. The same Libyan argument would apply to The Hague, there being no extradition agreement between Libya and the Netherlands.

I conclude, after five years of Libyan prevarication over delivering the suspects for trial in Scotland, that it is extremely doubtful that they would surrender them for trial in a third country.