Libyan hints at compensation for IRA victims

Every time I go to the London library in St James’ Square I pass the little memorial, often decked with a bouquet, to WPC Yvonne Fletcher who was shot dead from the Libyan “People’s Bureau” in 1984, as she was diverting people away from a small demonstration. Now in the wake of the Megrahi release, there are hints that the Libyans are considering compensation for her killing and for the victims of Libyan- fuelled IRA terrorism. Nothing more than a hint of this is mentioned in the Independent’s exclusive report. A campaign is being led by hot-shot London lawyer Jason McCue, who masterminded the Omagh families’ successful civil case and now represents the victims’ families. The hero’s welcome accorded to Megrahi in Tripoli on his return from his Scottish jail had taken Libya “back in diplomatic years,” said McCue, and he argued the country needed to demonstrate it could maintain good relations with international trading partners.
“There is no simpler and easier way to do that than to compensate those victims of IRA bombs that utilised donated Libyan Semtex [plastic explosive],” he said. The BBC story adds that Jeffrey Donaldson MP hopes to go to Libya shortly with victims’ families to press the case. In return for considering compensation it seems Gadaffi is calling for details of an alleged British plot to assassinate him in 1996 to be disclosed. As this is naturally denied, progress could be slow. How do they decide who was a Libyan victim and who was not? Advice please, to Muammar Gaddafi, the Big Tent, Somewhere in the Desert near to all mod cons., Libya.

Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London

reasons to be cheerful