A Government claim that human rights legislation would prevent some IRA victims receiving compensation from Libya has been branded “a cruel blow,” by Lord Empey.
The Ulster Unionist peer was commenting following the second reading of his Asset Freezing (Compensation) Bill in the Lords.
Former Libyan dictator Col Muammar Gaddafi supplied ship loads of weapons and Semtex explosives to the IRA during the Troubles, which were used to attack civilian and British military targets.
There has been an on-going campaign to have a portion of the £9.5 billion of Gaddafi/Libyan assets frozen in London paid to terror victims in the UK.
Lord Empey said there was “widespread shock” at a Government minister’s assertion that “the Gaddafi family and other named persons on the United Nations list could be infringed by what the Government called demands to pay ‘extortionate compensation’ and that they would be unable therefore to exercise ‘enjoyment of property in Article 1 Protocol 1 of the ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights)’.”