Libya rules out payments to IRA victims' families
Libya will fight any claims for compensation by the families of people killed by Irish republican bombs they say were made using Libyan-supplied explosives, the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said, according to Reuters.
Saif al-Islam said Libya would contest any such cases in the courts, putting him at odds with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown who said he would support the compensation claims.
"Anybody can knock at our door and ask for money. But you go to the court, we have lawyers," Saif told Sky News."
British lawyer Jason McCue, who represents the families of Irish Republican Army (IRA) victims, said he was prepared to take the compensation claims to court, but hoped a deal could be reached without legal action.
"Everyone realizes in litigation that a settlement is the best way to go and I am sure Libya will realize that is the best way for Anglo-Libyan relations," he told BBC radio.
The families say they have evidence that Libyan-supplied explosives were used in a string of IRA attacks, including the 1987 blast at a Remembrance Day service that killed 11 people in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, the Sunday Times reported.
The Libyan shipments also helped the IRA carry out the 1996 bombing that devastated the center of Manchester, northern England, and several explosions in London, the report added.
The British government says Libya shipped weapons in the 1980s and 1990s to guerrillas fighting to end British rule of Northern Ireland. A boat, the Eksund, was seized off the French coast in 1987 and found to be carrying weapons for the IRA.
McCue could not immediately be reached for comment.