Belfast Telegraph

Libya-backed terror justice fight to go on, vows Lord Empey

By Staff Reporter

Ulster Unionist Peer Lord Empey has said there will be no giving up in the fight for justice for victims of Libyan-sponsored terrorism.

Lord Empey was speaking after he was forced to abandon his amendment to the Criminal Finances Bill, because of reduced Parliamentary time.

It aimed to secure compensation for the victims of Libyan-sponsored IRA terrorism.

The Gaddafi regime began supplying the IRA in the 1980s, handing over Semtex for a series of atrocities.

The worst attacks included the 1987 Remembrance Day bombing, which killed 11, and the 1996 London Docklands attack, which killed two and hurt more than 100.

Before his death in 2011, Colonel Gaddafi moved £9.5bn of assets to London.

Victims have long campaigned for this money to be used for compensation.

The cash is currently frozen by a United Nations resolution, but a group of MPs had attempted to pass legislation to unlock the money.

Lord Empey said: "Unfortunately the calling of a snap general election has reduced Parliamentary time to an extent where I was unable to bring forward an amendment which sought to use some of the £9.5bn frozen Libyan assets in the UK to compensate the victims of Gadaffi sponsored terrorism.

"The plight of the victims has never been formally recognised by the Libyan government and the UK Government did not seek to achieve compensation from Libya, unlike their American, French and German counterparts," he added.

"During the debate it was placed on the record by the Home Office Minister Baroness Williams that my decision to not move the amendment 'in no way undermines his support for the victims groups he has supported over many years'.

"In the new Parliament, I will attempt to bring forward a new Bill to start the process again.

"There will be no giving up in the fight to achieve justice for those who have suffered."

Belfast Telegraph


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