DCSIMG

IRA victims pursue Gaddafi assets

Willie Fraser with a  delegation of victims from Northern Ireland and Libya during a meeting at the Victims Commission Office in Belfast.

Willie Fraser with a delegation of victims from Northern Ireland and Libya during a meeting at the Victims Commission Office in Belfast.

 

Victims of Gaddafi-sponsored IRA terrorism are pressing to have the late dictator’s personal UK assets liquidated for their compensation.

The news was revealed yesterday as a delegation of nine Libyan victims of the Gaddafi regime attended a meeting in Belfast with IRA victims.

In March 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron said he did not believe Libyan regime assets frozen in the UK should be used to compensate IRA victims.

However, it is not known if he has ever made any comment on the dictator’s own private portfolio.

In 2011, a Sunday Times investigation revealed the former Libyan dictator owned £1bn of property across Britain.

IRA victims’ campaigner Willie Frazer said yesterday: “There are assets frozen in the UK, a few billion that has not been unfrozen and which belongs to the Gaddafi family.

“So the compensation could be done now – the money is in property and bonds right here in the UK.”

The DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson agreed.

“Yes, this was raised with the Foreign Office and will again be raised with the Prime Minister when we meet him soon,” he said.

Unionist politicians began talks in 2009 to secure compensation from Libya for 160 IRA victims, after the country had previously paid £918.7m to US victims of the 1988 Lockerbie plane bomb.

Asked about progress on securing compensation for UK victims of Gaddafi yesterday, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said the UK Government believes “private compensation claims are best pursued directly with the Libyan government”.

The Government is not involved in negotiations but does provide “facilitation support to campaign groups, where it has been requested”, she added.

At the time of going to press, neither the Foreign Office nor the Treasury could offer any comment on Gaddafi’s personal UK assets.

Nine Libyans who were victims of the Gaddafi regime met with a range of local terror victims in the offices of the Victims Commission in Belfast yesterday.

 

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