The Treasury has revealed the extent of Libyan assets frozen in the UK, prompting bomb victim campaigners to renew their call for compensation.
In all £9,467,630,000 in properties, investments and cash are on hold waiting for a stable regime to return to the North African country.
Campaigners, including those affected by the Docklands bomb 21 years ago, are seeking a tiny fraction of that sum to help with the ongoing suffering and hardship of those caught up in the violence.
Dictator Muammar Gaddafi supplied the Semtex to the IRA which set the explosives as part of their terror campaign. US victims have received compensation but British victims were excluded from the programme.
However, it is far from simple to claim cash. It belongs to the Libyan people seized under an EU directive and held under a UN resolution that makes it illegal to sell off assets or redeploy funds.
Efforts in Parliament , including the Asset Freezing (Compensation) Bill in the Lords and support from the cross-party Northern Ireland Affairs select committee add weight to the calls but do not overcome the vast legal obstacles.
Docklands Victims Association chairman Jonathan Ganesh lost friends Inam Bashir and John Jeffries in the blast that struck the Isle of Dogs.
He said: “It has been disclosed that other countries, such as France and Germany also received substantial compensation because of Gaddafi’s involvement in international terrorism. Sadly our Government appeared to be preoccupied with trade deals with Gaddafi rather than seeking redress for UK victims.”
A Treasury spokesman said: “The funds were frozen under a UN resolution so that they would be returned to the people of Libya once a stable government is formed. To do anything else would be unlawful. The Government continues to support UK victims in their attempts to seek redress from the Libyan authorities.”