The Libyan chargé d’affaires to the UN Al-Mihdi Al-Mejerbi has warned that any attempt by the British government to use frozen Libyan assets in England to compensate IRA victims of weapons and explosives smuggled into Northern Ireland from Libya would be in breach of United Nations resolutions.
Al-Mejerbi sent a letter to the UN Security Council issuing it that "government of national accord" is confident that the government of the United Kingdom will uphold its responsibility to stop such a bill, according to The Irish Times on Wednesday.
"As an Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Bill proceeds through Westminster to allow a portion of about £10-12 billion (€11.4 - €13.6 billion) of frozen assets to be used to assist IRA victims, the Libyan chargé d’affaires to the, UN Elmahdi S Elmajerbi stated that such action would be legally, ethically and morally wrong." The Irish Times adds.
It added that Lord Empey of the UUP who introduced the private members’ Bill and DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, who has campaigned for several years to try to win some £1.5 billion (€1.71 billion) in compensation from the Libyan authorities for IRA victims, have acknowledged that Mr Elmajerbi appears to be correct in his legal interpretation.
It also indicated that Lord Empey argued that the British government could use its veto on the security council to gain commitments about compensation before it would agree to the unfreezing of the Libyan assets in England.
Meanwhile, Al-Mejerbi said that a number of UN resolutions dictated that such frozen assets when released must be used for the benefit of the people of Libya,
UN Security Council issued resolutions 1970 and 1973, among others after February revolution in 2011, and the latter resolution says all Libyan assets must be frozen and demanded all member states not to deal with any Libyan entity or individual using those assets.