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Pan Am 103 Bombing Verdict: Victims' Families Find Some Satisfaction, but Loss Not Forgotten

Aired January 31, 2001 - 1:01 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: A man who lost a brother in the Lockerbie tragedy says the verdict leads to the doorstep of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. And while some of the families involved have found some satisfaction in today's verdict, the past, and their loss, is not forgotten.

CNN's Frank Buckley reports from New York.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The Flynn family of Montville, New Jersey, awoke in the predawn darkness for a day they've been waiting for 12 years: verdict day in the trial of the men accused of bringing down Pan Am Flight 103. Twenty-one year old John Patrick Flynn (ph), their son, was aboard that plane. The guilty verdict against at least one of the defendants representing, they say, some measure of justice.

JACK FLYNN, VICTIM'S FATHER: Obviously, you can never bring your kid back, and hopefully the U.S. government takes some substantial action against Libya.

BUCKLEY: Several family members of the victims arrived at the Jacob Javitz federal building, in Manhattan, together, after spending the night together in a New York City hotel. They watched the verdict on a television linkup.

Among them, Bert Ammerman, whose brother, Tom, a 36-year-old husband and father of two girls, four and six, was killed aboard Pan Am 103.

BERT AMMERMAN, VICTIM'S BROTHER: Today is a day of satisfaction. True justice, though, I believe, will never be served, because the person that should be brought to justice is the leader of Libya.

BUCKLEY: Ammerman and other family members have never believed the bombing of Pan Am 103 was the work of two lone Libyan citizens, and they continue to believe that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi ordered the bombing.

JEANNINNE BOULANGER, VICTIM'S MOTHER: I think Mr. Megrahi, having been a Libyan Intelligence agent, certainly points the finger directly to state-sponsored terrorism, with Mr. Gadhafi at the helm. KATHLEEN FLYNN, VICTIM'S MOTHER: There is no way that a Libyan Intelligence officer is convicted of a crime of this magnitude and it was not delegated from the top.

BUCKLEY: Family members are also seeking answers in civil suits filed against Libya. Their hope: to determine if anyone else helped to bring down Flight 103 and to identify in court who ordered the terrorist act.

Frank Buckley, CNN, New York.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

CHEN: There were gasps, tears, groans, even a fainting today when the verdicts and the sentence were announced.

CNN senior international correspondent Richard Blystone joins us now from Camp Zeist with the story -- Richard.

RICHARD BLYSTONE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Natalie.

Well, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, 44 years old, is on his way back home now, eight hours after having been found innocent in this trial. He waved to the cameras, the pool cameras, as he was driven out of Camp Zeist in a Dutch limousine, Camp Zeist the only home he has known for one year and 10 months since he was surrendered by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. It's going to be a Dutch/U.N. joint effort to get him back to Libya, retracing steps he took on the 5th of April, 1999.

At the same time, Abdel Baset Ali Al-Megrahi, convicted of murder, is back in his cell, behind high concrete walls, and is expected to remain there while the mechanics of an appeal are carried out. Megrahi's lawyer, who still that he is innocent, has two weeks to file an intention to appeal, six weeks to actually make the application for appeal.

If that application were granted, the case probably would be heard here at Camp Zeist by five judges from the same Scottish high court if Megrahi wants to be present, possibly in Edinburgh if he does not.

Relatives were unhappy at the 20-year minimum sentence handed by...

CHEN: We'll have to interrupt Dick Blystone here.

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