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Englewood Attorney Tells FindLaw: Lawsuit Being Filed Over Libyan Property

By Joel Zand on August 28, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Englewood, New Jersey's City Attorney Bill Bailey told FindLaw that the city's lawsuit seeking an injunction to halt all construction on the Libyan government's Englewood property  would be filed in approximately one hour -- around 4 p.m. EST / 1 p.m. PST.

Englewood's Mayor, Michael Wildes, also told FindLaw that the city was suing the Libyan government over the property's construction.

After Scotland's release last week of a convicted Lockerbie bomber from Libya, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi reported plans to set up a large tent on the country's Englewood property, creating a firestorm of controversy.

Qadaffi and his sons gave convicted Lockerbie Bomber and former Libyan intelligence agent Abdel Baset al-Megrahi al-Megrahi a hero's welcome in Libya last week after Scotland's Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill ordered the bomber released on 'compassionate grounds' because he is dying of cancer.

But the furor over al-Megrahi's release sparked outrage in this New Jersey town.  al-Megrahi was found guilty after trial in 2001 and sentenced to life in prison by a Scottish court for the 1988 terrorist attack on Pan Am Flight 103 that killed nearly 300 passengers and crew members over Lockerbie, Scotland.

The Libyan government bought a large Englewood property in 1982, and Qaddafi announced plans to erect a tent on the grounds to welcome dignitaries and officials when he plans to visit the U.N. General Assembly.

The U.S. State Department confirmed that it "talked to Libyan authorities," but would only say -- multiple times -- that it is "confident that ultimately, the Libayn delegation will find suitable accomodations."

Hope Asrelsky, whose daughter was killed in the bombing, told Reuters that if Qaddafi came to Englewood, she hopes "he will be given a cold, cold welcome."

"Paying tax dollars from the town" for the Libyan delegation's security is something that "would really, really bother" Englewood resident Adam Rendell.


FindLaw expects to post a copy of the lawsuit; check back later to read it.

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