Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 24 September 2014

IRA victims still hopeful over Libya payout

The fall of Gaddafi's regime could help MPs secure compensation for Libya's past support for the IRA, it has been claimed (AP)

Campaigners fighting for compensation payments for IRA victims from the Libyan government are optimistic the settlement will still go ahead now that Muammar Gaddafi's regime is on the brink of collapse.

After rebel forces took the centre of the capital Tripoli, it seemed likely the 42-year rule of the dictator was finally coming to an end.

His regime became linked to the IRA in the 1980s and 1990s when it supplied weapons and Semtex which were used in some of the Provisionals' worst atrocities. After a long legal battle for compensation from the Libyan government, Gaddafi last year pledged £2bn to victims.

The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson said they were still hopeful about receiving the payment.

He said legal representatives for IRA victims had recently been given a memorandum of understanding by the Libyan Transitional National Council in Benghazi, which constituted a "commitment to pursue the payment of compensation".

"It remains to be seen how that will work out in the process and what the timescale will be for any settlement of the legal case," Mr Donaldson said, "but we remain hopeful that the matter can be resolved as soon as a new government settles in in Tripoli.

"We are hoping to meet representatives of the new government in London in the next few weeks to see how we can progress the legal case," the MP for Lagan Valley added.

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