Law mulled for Canadian terror victims

June 2, 2009 at 2:28 PM
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OTTAWA, June 2 (UPI) -- Canada's minority Conservative government introduced legislation in Ottawa Tuesday that would allow victims of terror to sue their attackers or terror sponsors.

Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan told reporters the goal of the bill is to provide "an opportunity for victims of terrorism to seek justice that might otherwise be denied to them," the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

The bill would makes the rights retroactive to Jan. 1, 1985. If passed, the families of the 329 victims in the June 1985 bombing of an Air India flight could sue those found guilty of a role in the attack. It would do the same for the families of 25 Canadians killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, al-Qaida terror attacks in New York and the Pentagon, the report said.

Van Loan acknowledged the right to sue and the ability to collect carried no guarantees, the Toronto Star reported.

"It's not only under this legislation that people who get judgments in the courts sometimes have difficulty collecting ... that's a quite common phenomenon," the minister said.

The United States is the only country in the world now with legislation that gives litigation rights to terror victims, the CBC said.

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