Libya Accedes to Lockerbie Bombing Trial

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A decade has passed since a Pan Am jetliner exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 270 people aboard. Now the Libyan parliament has endorsed an agreement, backed by the U.S. and Britain, to try two of its nationals in the Netherlands for the 1988 bombing. Britain called the development encouraging, but others aren't so sure.

The first step for U.S. and British officials is to figure out if the Libyan gesture is genuine. "One would assume that Libyan leader Muammar Ghaddafi approves," says TIME U.N. correspondent William Dowell, "but sometimes he plays one part of his government against the other." Even if Ghaddafi does approve, lots of procedural questions must still be answered, including where the suspects would be jailed, if convicted. And the biggest hurdle remains: "In the past there have been informed reports that Ghaddafi wanted guarantees that the trial would not implicate any higher-ups," says Dowell. Resolving that issue could easily take another decade.