The Chairman of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) Ali Mahmoud Hassan has urged the UK not to pursue a demand that some of its $67 billion worth of frozen assets be used to compensate past victims of Irish Republican Army (IRA) attacks.
Ali Mahmoud Hassan said so in a letter to Britain’s Junior Foreign Minister Alistair Burt, Reuters reported.
“There is no lawful basis for the United Kingdom to seize or change ownership of the frozen LIA assets. These belong to the Libyan people,” Hassan said in the letter sent to Burt on Wednesday.
He added that the UN Security Council has likewise ruled that frozen assets, when released, must be used for the benefit of the Libyan people.
“Those behind a British parliamentary bill argue that the former regime of Gaddafi supplied arms to the IRA during the 30-year conflict in Northern Ireland which saw over 3,600 people killed and thousands more injured.” According to Reuters.
The LIA estimates some 12.25 billion dollars’ worth of its assets are in the United Kingdom.
Libya’s former ambassador to the UN, Abdelrahman Shalgam, confirmed previously that the IRA issue had been settled once and for all; warning that reopening the file by the UK government constitutes a plan to take over Libya’s frozen assets using Libyan accomplices.
Last June, Libya rejected using its frozen assets in the UK to compensate IRA victims’ families, saying it was a violation of sovereignty.