The son of Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi stated on Monday that his country will fight demands for compensation from IRA victims.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said in an interview with Sky News that any bids for compensation stemming from alleged Libyan arms supplies to the IRA would be met with a “no” from Libya, and would be a matter for the courts.
“Anyone can knock on our door. You go to the court. They (the victims' families) have their lawyers, we have our lawyers,” Gaddafi said.
The comments came just hours after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that he is assisting IRA victims by setting up a special British Foreign Office team for them.
Gaddafi’s comments have increased pressure on Brown from IRA victims, whose loved ones were allegedly killed with Semtex supplied by Libya.
Colin Parry, whose 13-year-old son Tim was killed in 1993 by an IRA bomb made with Semtex thought to have been supplied by Libya, told the British Telegraph that the British government could not ignore Libya’s crimes.
“It does make Britain look very, very weak and insignificant if, for reasons of worrying about oil deals or other economic considerations, this Government of ours is prepared to disregard all the pain of the thousands of victims of IRA terrorist campaigns,” he said.
Saif Gaddafi condemned British politicians in his TV interview, labeling them “disgusting and immoral” for using the case of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, who was freed from his Scottish prison last month, for political gain. Suspicion over Britain’s dealings with Libya has been growing since the release of Megrahi, who has terminal prostate cancer.
But the Libyan leader’s son also stated in that Brown was not directly involved in talks over the Lockerbie bomber’s release.