THE Libyan lawyer for two suspects in the Lockerbie bombing last night said he had reached agreement with a lawyer for victims' families on a proposed trial in the Netherlands under Scots law.

Ibrahim Legwell said he told Scots lawyer Professor Robert Black, from Edinburgh University, and Dr Jim Swire, who represents families of British victims of the disaster, that his two Libyan clients were ready to stand trial in a neutral country for the 1988 bombing, which killed 270 people.

Professor Black and Dr Swire held talks in Tripoli this week with Mr Legwell and Libyan officials. They also met Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in a bid to gain support for a trial plan drawn up by Professor Black.

Mr Legwell said: ''We agreed on several basic points and details. I confirmed to them, as I have done previously, that my clients would stand for trial before such a court, which will be set not in Scotland nor the United States, but in a neutral country.

''We also agreed that it would be established with an international panel of judges to be agreed upon and presided over by a senior Scottish judge. The court would operate under the criminal law and procedures of Scotland,'' he added.

''We also are very concerned about how to ensure the safety, the security and the rights for our clients pending, during and after the trial.

''We really have done very good work which will end the suffering of the victims' families and the suffering of my two clients and my country,'' Mr Legwell said.

Since 1992, the UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on Libya for failing to extradite the two men, alleged intelligence agents Abdel Baset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi and Al-Amin Khalifa Fhimah, for trial before a Scottish court or in the United States.

Libya, which denied any involvement of its two citizens in the bombing, said such a move would not be fair, but Colonel Gaddafi has previously said he would support whatever arrangements were accepted by the suspects' lawyers.

The Foreign Office stressed that Dr Swire had been acting in a private capacity and the US State Department dismissed any agreement on trying the case in a neutral country.