HC Deb 12 February 1997 vol 290 c333
12. Mr. Day

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made by his Department to the Moroccan Government concerning the case of Mrs. Sherratt. [13965]

Dr. Liam Fox

We stand ready to make representations to the Moroccan authorities on behalf of Mrs. Sherratt once we know the outcome of her solicitors' bid to obtain compensation through the courts.

Mr. Day

I thank my hon. Friend for that answer. He knows that this case is particularly tragic. My constituent was shot by an off-duty Moroccan policeman and is wheelchair-bound and paralysed for the rest of her life. The Moroccan Government deny responsibility, despite the fact that the weapon used was supplied by them. Since I raised this matter at business questions, the Moroccan ambassador has kindly agreed to meet me, for which I am grateful. Legal action may be taken.

I ask my hon. Friend to bear in mind the fact that the matter is serious because of the number of British tourists who holiday in Morocco. They must be assured that the Government will look after their interests. Should legal action not be successful—and hopes of success are tenuous—can the matter be raised at ministerial level, if necessary?

Dr. Fox

The shooting in the Hotel Tank was indeed tragic, and two Britons were killed. The gunman's wife was shot, and the gunman committed suicide. Given the circumstances, we believe that this was an isolated incident, not a trend. The problem with compensation is that Morocco does not have an equivalent of our criminal injury compensation scheme. I assure my hon. Friend that, if Mrs. Sherratt cannot obtain satisfaction through the courts, we will consider approaching the Moroccan authorities in the way he suggests.

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