§ Mr. Robert McCartney
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is his policy on Government claims or counter-claims against individuals in relation to damage and injury caused by those individuals as a result of their involvement in terrorist acts. 
§ Sir John Wheeler
Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Compensation Agency under its chief executive, Mr Dennis Stanley. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from D.A. Stanley to Mr. Robert McCartney, dated 31 October 1996:The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has asked me to reply, on behalf of the Compensation Agency, to your recent Question regarding policy on claims or counter-claims against individuals in relation to damage and injury caused by individuals as a result of their involvement in terrorist acts.The Agency pays Compensation in Northern Ireland under either the Criminal Damage (Compensation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1977 or the Criminal Injuries (Compensation) (Northern Ireland) Order 1988. The legislation directs that no compensation can be paid 281W to any person who has been a member of an unlawful association at any time whatsoever, or is such a member, or who has been engaged in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism at any time whatsoever, or is so engaged. The only exception being that the Secretary of State may, if he considers it to be in the public interest to do so, pay such sum as does not exceed the amount of the disallowed compensation. This latter power is infrequently used and is exercised personally by the Minister of State on behalf of the Secretary of State.In addition, the Agency has power under the legislation to pursue an offender for recovery of any compensation paid out by the Agency to a victim, irrespective of whether acts of terrorism were involved or not. Since being established in April 1992, the Agency has recovered £1.2 million from such offenders.