Under the accord, Tripoli will pay each of the families $10 million in instalments, based on the lifting of United Nations and United States sanctions, said lawyers on Thursday.

Libya will also be removed from Washington’s list of nations which allegedly support “terrorism”.

Representatives of British families whose relatives were killed in the Pan Am flight 103 disaster over the Scottish town of Lockerbie that left 270 people dead, said the deal was “purely financial” and doubted the money would be paid.

“This is a financial deal for Libya. This is all Libya cares about, to extricate itself from the sanctions and re-enter the international, in particular US, market,” claimed Mark Zaid, a US lawyer for 50 of the families.

Cash deposit

Lockerbie was carrying mainly
American passengers

In 2001, Scottish court Camp Zeist, set up in the Netherlands, convicted Abd al-Basset Ali al-Megrahi, one of two Libyan agents charged with the bombing, and sentenced him to life in prison.

After signing the accord on Wednesday, family lawyers said they expected the compensation to be deposited with the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) soon, and that Libya would be sending its letter accepting responsibility to the UN Security Council.

Diplomatic sources said on Tuesday that Libya had agreed to send a letter to the Security Council, either by Thursday or Friday, admitting it was behind the attack.

The first $4 millions are expected to be paid to the victims’ families when world body sanctions against Tripoli are lifted, following its acceptance of responsibility.

The embargo was suspended but not llifted after Libya handed over the two former Libyan intelligence agents in the case.

Lifting UN sanctions will pave the way for talks between Washington and Tripoli about the lifting of separate US sanctions.

A further $4 million would be delivered to each family once US sanctions are lifted and the final $2 million would be handed over if Libya is removed from the US list of states allegedly supporting “terrorism”.