MT. PLEASANT, S.C., July 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- 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.
SOURCE Motley Rice LLC