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Gaddafi - Airliner Bombing

NPR's Sarah Chayes reports from Paris that a French appeals court ruled today that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi can be prosecuted in France for complicity in the 1989 destruction of a French airliner over Niger. One-hundred-seventy people died in the terrorist attack. The ruling could expand the reach of international criminal law. The French state prosecutor had argued against this ruling, stating that Gaddafi enjoys what is known as "sovereign immunity," which protects a head of state from prosecution for acts performed while in office. But the French court -- citing as precedent the case of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in Britain -- ruled that the notion of sovereign immunity does not extend to charges of ordering the bombing of an airliner.

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