Britain to Seek Payments From Libya for IRA Bombings

Gordon Brown reverses himself after embarrassing letters surface

Monday, Sep 7, 2009  |  Updated 4:15 AM PDT
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Gordon Brown said he will seek money from Libya for British victims of IRA attacks.

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British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, under fire for his government’s support for releasing the Lockerbie bomber, said he would seek compensation from Libya for British victims of IRA terror attacks.

The move represents an about face in policy after letters emerged that showed that the U.K. had decided against seeking payments so as not to disrupt oil deals with Libya, according to reports. In a letter from last year, Brown wrote that he did not “consider it appropriate” to negotiate with Libya on payments, The New York Daily News reported.

Dozens of civilians died in the 1980s and 1990s when IRA terrorists used Libya-supplied explosives for attacks in Northern Ireland. Three American victims have received compensation since Libya abandoned its support for terrorism, but 100 British victims have not received any money.  

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s son Saif al-Islam dismissed Brown's latest comments. "Anybody can knock at our door and ask for money. But you go to the court, we have lawyers," he told Britain’s Sky News.

Get More: NY Daily News, Reuters, Telegraph

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