Tuesday 21 November 2017

London bombing victims want probe into 'Slab' Murphy

Slab Murphy: Never convicted of terrorist offence. Photo: Collins
Slab Murphy: Never convicted of terrorist offence. Photo: Collins

Rebecca Black

The victims of the IRA's London Docklands bombing will today demand that the city's Metropolitan Police open an investigation into Thomas 'Slab' Murphy.

Blast survivor Jonathan Ganesh will lead a delegation at a meeting with Met officers on this, the 20th anniversary of the bombing that ended a 17-month IRA ceasefire.

Two people - Inam Bashir and John Jeffries - were killed and 250 injured on February 9, 1996, when a massive lorry bomb exploded in the Canary Wharf financial district.

Two men were convicted of the bombing but served just two years in jail due to the early release scheme under the Good Friday Agreement.

Now the bomb victims want the Met to pursue Murphy, claiming he arranged for the Semtex used in the blast to be transported from Libya.

This follows claims by French detective Jean-Louis Bruguiere who alleged to BBC's 'Spotlight' that Murphy had organised a major shipment of arms, including Semtex, on the Eksund ship which French authorities intercepted off Brittany in 1987.

Mr Ganesh said that, as Semtex was the main component of the Docklands bomb, victims believe the Met should investigate Mr Bruguiere's comments.

He described the experience of the bomb as feeling like he was being "buried alive".

"Over the last 10 years, we have campaigned for equality for victims.

"There are IRA victims with American passports who were compensated with millions of pounds from Colonel Gaddafi, who helped the IRA kill countless citizens from the UK, Ireland and around the world," he said.

Murphy has never been convicted of a terrorist offence. However, he will be sentenced on Friday for tax evasion.

The interception of the Eksund sparked an international police investigation. Mr Bruguiere, who led the investigation, told 'Spotlight': "The implication of Libya in terrorist operations in Europe, its strategy and in particular the logistical support for the IRA, was known. It was known by the British and French.

"I am quite sure that Murphy was involved. Murphy for me was at the centre of the dossier.

"I think, as they say in English, he was the handler - the one who was the contact, the manipulator of Hopkins (Adrian Hopkins, the Eksund skipper), and the one who drove the operation."

Irish Independent

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