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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 19, 1997


Ninth Anniversary of Pan Am 103 Bombing

Nine years ago, on December 21, 1988, a bomb destroyed Pan American Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, taking the lives of 270 women, men and children of more than 20 nationalities. We have not forgotten those innocent victims, and our hearts are with their families, particularly on this day.

One of the most painstaking and professional criminal investigations in history produced overwhelming evidence of the involvement of two Libyans in the bombing and led to their indictment. When they stand trial before a Scottish or American court, they will have an opportunity the victims never had: to defend themselves, and they will have the guarantee of a free and fair trial.

Time has not diminished our determination to see justice done. The world cannot simply close the book on any act of state-sponsored terrorism, no matter how many years have passed. To do so would be to encourage terrorist states to continue their practice. This is why we insist on tough bilateral and international sanctions until Libya demonstrates it is serious in its claim not to support terrorism by handing over the two suspects for trial in Scotland or the United States.

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