Friday, 5 October 2012

Mau Mau win UK ruling

Via BBC News
Three Kenyans who were tortured by British colonial authorities can proceed with their legal claims against the UK government, a court has ruled. London's High Court ruled the case, relating to the 1950s Mau Mau uprising, could proceed despite the time elapsed.

The ruling means the case will now go to a full trial. Lawyers for the three hailed it as a "historic" judgement. While the government accepts UK forces tortured detainees it denies liability and will appeal against the decision.

Thousands of people were killed during the Mau Mau revolt against British rule in Kenya in the 1950s and 1960s. The government had initially argued that all liabilities for the torture by colonial authorities were transferred to the Kenyan Republic upon independence in 1963 and that it could not be held liable now. 

Lawyer Martyn Day (l) described the judgement as historic. But in 2011, the High Court ruled the claimants - Paulo Muoka Nzili, Wambuga Wa Nyingi and Jane Muthoni Mara - did have "arguable cases in law".

Their lawyers allege that Mr Nzili was castrated, Mr Nyingi was severely beaten and Mrs Mara was subjected to appalling sexual abuse in detention camps during the rebellion. A fourth claimant, Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua, died earlier this year.

After the 2011 ruling, the case went back to the High Court in July to consider a claim by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) that the actions had been brought outside the legal time limit. The FCO said it faced "irredeemable difficulties" in relation to the availability of witnesses and documents.

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