Families of IRA victims want Libya to pay

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JEB SHARP: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown broke his silence today about the release of the Lockerbie bomber. But Brown's words have failed to soothe those angry about the decision to free the Libyan agent convicted in the 1988 bombing. Now the release of Abdelbasset Ali al-Megrahi has prompted victims of other attacks to demand restitution. The World's Laura Lynch reports.

LAURA LYNCH: Summer vacation over. Gordon Brown traveled back to London and right into the middle of the debate raging about the Lockerbie bomber. It may have been the Scottish government's decision to set him free but Brown's been feeling the heat for staying silent until now.

GORDON BROWN: And I have to tell you that I was both angry and I was repulsed by the reception that a convicted bomber, guilty of a huge terrorist crime, received on his return to Libya. When I met Colonel Gadaffi over the summer I made it absolutely clear to him that we had no role in making the decision about Megrahi's future.

LYNCH: But the prime minister's frank admission that he discussed the case with Moammar Gadaffi has another group of victims fuming. Relatives of those who died at the hands of bombings by the Irish Republican Army say it's time for Brown to demand that Libya show some compassion to them. That's because during the height of the IRA's attacks Libya supplied them with guns and semtex plastic explosives. Jason Mccue is a lawyer who represents many of the IRA's victim's families.

JASON MCCUE: It's not just about the Libyan's showing compassion but also the British government can't be seen to be rolling over for Libya. And here, something that's very close to the heart, the bombs that hit London, Manchester, Warrington, and Inniskillin with the semtex supplied by Libya. Here's a chance for the government to say, you know something you need to sort this out.

LYNCH: Close to 200 victims of IRA violence tried to sue Libya for compensation in the United States. But the case stalled last year when Libya agreed to compensate US citizens killed or injured in Lockerbie and other attacks in return for immunity. And opposition Member of Parliament for Northern Ireland, Jeffrey Donaldson, is hoping to travel to Libya with some of the IRA victims this fall. He wants Gordon Brown to back their fight.

JEFFREY DONALDSON: We've made it clear that if the government doesn't support our moves to secure compensation for the victims then we're going to increase the level of our campaign against Downing Street.

LYNCH: But it's not clear how much more Donaldson can do. Brown is showing no sign of taking on their cause especially as the controversy over al-Megrahi's release rolls on. For The World I'm Laura Lynch in London.