Belfast Telegraph

IRA victims pursue Libya compensation

By Liam Clarke

A delegation of Troubles victims plans to visit Libya to show solidarity with the insurgents once order is restored.

They also plan to forward a claim for a multi-billion pounds goodwill payment from the new Libyan government to compensate UK victims of IRA terrorism.

The Belfast Telegraph has obtained a signed statement from Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC), in which he pledges to settle the claim of 147 victims currently suing Libya and to consider an "appropriately resourced humanitarian fund for IRA victims".

The document was signed on April 5 at a meeting in the rebel stronghold with Jason McCue, the London solicitor who represented the Omagh bomb victims.

It is significant because the NTC looks poised to take power in Libya in the coming days or weeks.

The document is entitled 'Statement of Reconciliation to the Victims of Gaddafi sponsored Terrorism'.

In it, Mr Jalil says that the NTC intends to make a "morally just and appropriate settlement" with 147 claimants who are suing the Libyan government for $3.5bn (£2.13bn).

He goes on to say that he hopes to set up an additional "humanitarian fund" for "the wider class of similar UK IRA/Gaddafi victims that are not claimants in the above US action".

He adds that this fund will "recognise the pain and suffering of such victims and the wider society in the UK, and particularly in Northern Ireland."

When Mr McCue discussed such a fund with the Gaddafi regime a figure of $1.2bn was under consideration.

Willie Frazer of the victims group FAIR hopes to visit Libya with Mr McCue, politicians and three other victims as soon as the situation stabilises. British Government sources confirmed that he had been asked last month for possible delegates.

As well as Mr Frazer, the name of Michelle Williamson, who lost her parents in the 1993 Shankill Road bombing, was submitted. Two English victims of the 1996 Canary Wharf bombing, Ishan Bashir (whose brother was killed) and Jonathan Ganesh (who was badly injured) were also listed.

Mr Frazer said victims' groups had lobbied the British Government to support the Libyan insurgents even though they had been in talks, through their legal and political representatives, with the Gaddafi regime.

Belfast Telegraph


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