Brit. Parliament To Be Recalled
Aug. 25, 1998
LONDON (AP) _ Parliament will be recalled from its summer recess to pass tougher anti-terror laws in the wake of the Omagh bombing that shook Northern Ireland, according to press reports Tuesday.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair was expected to announce the emergency recall Tuesday, when he is scheduled to make his first visit to Omagh since the Aug. 15 car bomb that killed 28 people and injured more than 330.
A spokeswoman at Blair's Downing Street official residence confirmed the recall.
Press reports said the House of Commons and House of Lords would be brought back Sept. 1-2 to enact laws designed to secure easier convictions against suspected members of outlawed groups.
One of those groups, the ``Real IRA,'' has admitted being behind the bombing in Omagh 70, miles west of Belfast. The group is composed of Irish Republican Army dissidents.
The Irish parliament will also be recalled for a one-day session on Sept. 2, Dublin government sources confirmed Monday night, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.
Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern signaled the return of the Dail from its summer recess last week, when he unveiled the toughest set of security and anti-terrorist proposals in the history of the Irish state in response to the Omagh bombing.
Most of the measures to be pursued by the Irish government are already in place in Britain, but Blair was expected to announce plans to make it easier to put bombers and gunmen behind bars based on police testimony linking them to a terrorist organization.
Until now, convicting people of membership in an outlawed groups has been extremely difficult, because the groups keep no written records of membership, senior members do not involve themselves directly in committing attacks, and potential civilian witnesses run the risk of being killed as informers.