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New book about Libya's bombing of UTA 772 - The Forgotten Flight

By Daniel Finnan

A new book recently published details the painstaking investigation into what has been described as the “greatest murder case in French history”. The Forgotten Flight: Terrorism, Diplomacy and the Pursuit of Justice tells the story of the bombing of UTA 772 in which 170 people lost their lives. Author Stu Newberger, who led a case on behalf of the American families of the victims, recounts the investigation into the tragic events of 19 September 1989 when a grey suitcase exploded in the hold of the DC-10 aircraft. A French inquiry led to six Libyans being given life sentences by a Paris court after being found guilty in absentia. Forensic examination of the damaged wreck revealed a small piece of circuit board that was traced back to Libya. Newberger’s book reveals the detective work that led to the conviction, the impact on the families of the victims and the effect on French foreign policy. UTA 772 was given the nickname, ‘the forgotten flight’, owing to the media attention which focused on the Lockerbie bombing. Newberger’s account of the UTA 772 story hopes to bring details of the tragedy to a wider audience.

Q&A Stu Newberger

“I was approached by Doug Matthews, the owner of the plane, whose company Interlease had leased the aircraft to UTA. He wanted me to represent his company for the loss of the aircraft and then he also brought in the seven American families of the seven American citizens who were also killed on the flight. So I represented the owner of the plane and the seven American families who lost their loved ones to this act of terrorism. That’s how I got involved in this particular case.”

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