State Department Lobbies for Total Immunity for Libya, Says Motley Rice LLC

2008-07-30 17:36:00

State Department Lobbies for Total Immunity for Libya, Says Motley Rice LLC

    Administration Asks Congress to Leave out U.K. Citizens In

Anti-Terrorism Settlement with Libya



    Ill Omen for Cuban Americans, Others



    MT. PLEASANT, S.C., July 30 /EMWNews/ -- Ignoring a long

history of anti-terrorism cooperation between the U.S. and the U.K., over

two centuries of legal precedent under the Alien Tort Statute, and the

express will of Congress under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, the

State Department has submitted to Congress draft legislation that would

grant Libya complete immunity for past alleged acts of terrorism without

the complete resolution of all plaintiffs' actions currently pending in

U.S. courts. This last minute proposal was first reported yesterday evening

in an article posted on The Hill website

http://thehill.com/business--lobby/congress-state-dept.-close-to-deal-on-li

bya-related-victim-compensation-2008-07-29.html.



    "This Act selfishly settles some plaintiffs' claims and throws the rest

of the plaintiffs to the wolves - seeking to bar these victims from

proceeding further with their legitimate litigation against Libya. This

outrageous proposal is a complete insult to our allies and friends,"

commented Ronald L. Motley, partner in the plaintiff's attorney firm Motley

Rice LLC, representing plaintiffs in McDonald, et. al. v. Socialist

Peoples' Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, et. al., and the LaBelle disco bombing in

the Lockerbie case.



    "U.K. and U.S. plaintiffs stand united in the same cause and enjoy

equal standing in our courts under the Alien Tort Statute. The U.S. and

U.K. are fighting side-by-side in the war on terrorism. We can not abandon

them. Furthermore, it sets a bad precedent for the future normalization of

relations with current 'state sponsors of terrorism' like Cuba, Iran,

Sudan, North Korea, and Syria - should those countries ever return to fold

of the community of nations," Motley added.



    McDonald v. Libya alleges that beginning in the 1970s and continuing

into the 1980s, the Provisional Irish Republican Army was given material

support from Libya in the form of ammunition, arms, finances, and

explosives. This support included the deadly explosive agent Semtex,

explosive components, military and explosives training, and bases of

operation within Libya. In particular, Semtex and other components provided

by Libya were utilized in the PIRA bombing campaign against innocent

civilians.



    Led by Ronald Motley and Joseph Rice, the Motley Rice firm is a

recognized leader in the legal representation of terrorism victims, for

instance serving as lead counsel for more than 6,500 family members and

survivors of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks seeking justice

against al Qaeda's financiers.





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