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24 October 2011 3:22 PM

MP: Lawyers must not get Gaddafi victims' cash

As Colonel Gaddafi continues to lay unburied in a grizzly Libyan fridge, a post-conflict row is brewing in Westminster.

It centres around the issue of compensation for Provisional IRA semtex victims. Around 156 families or victims are set to receive payouts worth up to £6.3 million each, under a deal with the NTC over atrocities carried out with explosives supplied by the fallen despot.

But MP Daniel Kawczyinski, chairman of Parliament's all-party Libya group, is worried the deal will turn into a huge payday for lawyers.

He is urging David Cameron to bring administration of the compensation deal into Whitehall, to ensure all the money goes to victims and their families rather than legal representatives.

"I do not want a single penny of this lining the pockets of the lawyers," he told ESP.

"On the basis of a £450 million deal, lawyers would stand to gain as much as 20 per cent."

Mr Kawczyinski is also worried that a speedy deal will harm British standing in Libya. He argues that the worst victims of Gaddafi's brutality have been Libyans themselves, and that taking £450 million out of the country as it is being rebuilt would be propaganda ammunition for radical Muslim elements wanting to fill the power vacuum which may emerge.

"This has to be handled very sensitively," he cautioned.

Craig Woodhouse
Follow me on Twitter @craigawoodhouse

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