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Report on compensation for Gaddafi-backed IRA attack victims to be focus of Committee session

22 March 2021

William Shawcross, the author of a Government report examining compensation for victims of IRA attacks sponsored by former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, appears before MPs on the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.


Wednesday 24 March 2021, virtual meeting

At 9.30am

  • William Shawcross, former Special Representative on UK victims of Qadhafi-sponsored IRA terrorism

Libyan explosives were used in numerous bombings during the Troubles, including the 1987 Enniskillen and 1996 Docklands attacks. The regime also supplied arms, ammunition and financing to the IRA from the early 1970s to 1990s. Victims of Libyan-facilitated IRA terrorism have campaigned for financial support and compensation over a number of years, arguing that they should receive compensation from Libyan assets held in the UK.

Mr Shawcross’s report remains unpublished despite being completed in May 2020. There have been calls from the public and by NIAC for the release of the report, and to compensate victims from tax collected on the reported £12bn of UK-held frozen Libyan assets.

A Government response to the previous Committee’s report on support for victims of Gaddafi-sponsored Semtex attacks showed that HMRC has collected around £5m each year from the frozen assets. Reports last year suggested that Libyan authorities have recently lobbied the UN to begin ‘defrosting’ those assets.

The Committee formally summoned Mr Shawcross on 3 March. MPs on the Committee will seek information on why the Report is still to be published and enquire about the conclusions and recommendations within it.

Further information

Image: Crown copyright/Open Government Licence v3.0