Wharf bomb victims buoyed by PM's Libya visit

By Rob Virtue on February 1, 2013 4:41 PM |

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Victims of the Canary Wharf bomb received a boost in their campaign for compensation after Prime Minister David Cameron highlighted their plight during his visit to Libya this week.

The Canary Wharf bombing of 1996 was caused with Semtex supplied by the fallen dictator.

Shop workers John Jeffries and Inam Bashir were killed in the blast at South Quay, while dozens more were left with life-changing injuries.

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Mr Cameron mentioned their case while announcing detectives investigating the murder of policewoman Yvonne Fletcher would head to the north African country.

The PM told the press there was a need to "discuss and try to recognise the pain and damage that was inflicted by the Semtex that Colonel Gaddafi gave to the IRA".

Former Canary Wharf security guard Jonathan Ganesh, who was injured in the blast and has since campaigned on behalf of the victims, said he was glad to hear the PM's speech.

He said it was important victims work closely with UK and Libyan governments to create "a positive lasting legacy" from the Wharf atrocity and the many other IRA attacks caused by Libyan Semtex.

"We very much welcome the PM's comments," he said. "They clearly demonstrate this issue is very high on the agenda.

"We've been in discussions with the Libyan and UK governments, not just for compensation to the victims, but also over the opportunity for reconciliation with the Libyan people.

"We were both victims of Colonel Gaddafi."

5 Comments

Horse Renoir said:

Have the Libyans still not paid out? Ridiculous! Sami al Saadi didn't have to wait 6+ years to get compensation from the British government! If I were one of the UK victims I would ditch my legal team and give serious consideration to taking legal action against the British government, or does the British government only support compensation claims by foreigners?

Sel said:

This case has been high on the agenda for some time now, yet the victims are still waiting. Why are they having to fight this campaign themselves in the first place? Surley the government should be doing this and getting an immediate resolution. Havent the victims have been through enough?

John&Emma said:

glad to hear PM comments but more must be done concerning this issue.

Jonah Hex said:

So the American victims got their compensation 6 years ago? And the UK recently waived £200million costs to help liberate the Libyans and have recently paid over £2 million to a Libyan who accused the UK government of illegal rendition? So why then have the Libyan government not paid compensation to the UK victims as they promised to do nearly 2 years ago? Any why is the UK government not doing more to help the UK victims? But the real question is why is this not big news as it was in 2009 when it was exposed that Gordon Brown has refused to help the UK victims? And why is it not big news that the Libyans are able to get the UK government to compensate one of their citizens but the UK government is seemingly incapable of doing the same for its citizens? The whole business stinks, the victims lawyers and the UK government ought to hang their heads in shame

Victor vacendak said:

Cameron has been saying this is a priority for years and so far no action! I'd hate to imagine is he thought it wasn't a priority, although its kind of hard to tell the difference! Typical british government, putting oil deals first, Cameron, brown, Blair, they are all the same! Happy to sell out their own citizens in pursuit of the all mighty £!