IRA victims plan to sue Tony Blair over Libya ‘conniving’

Tony Blair faces threat of legal action over allegation he helped Colonel   Gaddafi over court case that led to British terror victims losing out on   compensation deal

Tony Blair with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Tony Blair with Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2007. Photo: PETER MACDIARMID/AFP

By , and Robert Mendick

9:05PM GMT 25 Jan 2014

Tony Blair is facing the threat of legal action over his alleged intervention   in a multi-million pound compensation claim by British victims of IRA   terrorism.

Lawyers for around 200 victims say the former prime minister and other   government officials appeared to have “connived” with Colonel Muammar   Gaddafi to block their claim against the Libyan regime that supplied Semtex   for the attacks.

They accuse Mr Blair of assisting a rogue regime to kill off their class   action in a “scandalous and perverse” move and are considering taking   both the former prime minister and the Government to court in the UK.

The lawyers are also demanding to know whether Sir Vincent Fean, a former   ambassador to Libya, “misled” MPs and peers over government involvement in   the case.

The Telegraph has obtained an email that appears to show that Mr Blair   intervened on behalf of Col Gaddafi in a long-running legal row over   compensation for victims of Libyan-sponsored terrorism.

The email suggests that Mr Blair helped to broker an agreement between the   former Libyan leader and President George W Bush which saw Libya pay £1   billion in compensation to American victims of terrorism but effectively   ended the compensation hopes of the British victims of IRA attacks, who had   been pursuing Gaddafi through the US courts.

Jason McCue of McCue & Partners, which is representing around 200 British   victims of IRA attacks carried out with Semtex supplied by Libya, said the   disclosure could form the basis for legal action in Britain.

“It’s bad enough being a victim of Semtex bombs supplied by Libya for the   Provisional IRA campaign. [But] it’s sheer horror then to be informed that   the British government and Tony Blair may have connived with Gaddafi to   ensure the few brave British victims that justly sued and stood up to the   dictator received no compensation from the Libyans,” he said.

“The families’ lawyers are investigating causes of action against those that   might have interfered in private litigation to the detriment of UK victims   and for the benefit of a rogue dictator such as Gaddafi.”

Colin Parry, whose son Tim, 12, died when a Semtex bomb exploded in Warrington   town centre, said: “The whole thing is grubby to say the least.

“It seems to me a complete dereliction of duty on the part of the British   government in looking after the rights of British citizens. The Americans   managed to get compensation for their citizens.”

The claims by Mr McCue and his clients arise from an email written by Sir   Vincent Fean to Mr Blair’s aides on June 8 2008, two days before a meeting   between the former prime minister and Col Gaddafi in Libya.

The note described how Mr Blair had approached President Bush on Gaddafi’s   behalf following an American court ruling that the proceeds of Libyan   business deals could be seized to compensate victims of a Libyan terrorist   attack.

Sir Vincent wrote: “On USA/Libya, TB should explain what he said to President   Bush … to keep his promise to Col Q [Gaddafi] to intervene after the   President allowed US courts to attach Libyan assets.”

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