Kenya torture case goes ahead

Three victims of torture during the Mau Mau uprising can proceed with their compensation claims, the High Court ruled. The government has said it will appeal the move.

Latest ITV News reports

Desmond Tutu calls on Government to 'resolve issue'

The British Government must now resolve this issue once and for all. They have admitted these elderly Kenyans were tortured by British officials but have refused to apologise or to show any concern for their welfare.

The courts have now rejected their legal defence twice in two years. It is high time the Government stop avoiding responsibility and show some compassion.

– Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Advertisement

Government does not dispute claimants 'suffered torture'

Ndiku Mutua, Paulo Nzili, Jane Muthoni Mara, Gitu Wa Kahengeri and Wambugu Wa Nyingi representing alleged victims. Credit: PA Wire

The Foreign Office said it did not "dispute that each of the claimants in this case suffered torture and other ill treatment at the hands of the Colonial Administration".

In a statement it added: "We have always said that we understand the pain and grievance felt by those, on all sides, who were involved in the divisive and bloody events of the Emergency period in Kenya, and it is right that those who feel they have a case are free to take it to the courts."

Government to appeal Kenya ruling

The Foreign Office (FCO) said the British Government is "disappointed" with the ruling and has taken the decision to appeal it.

The judgement has potentially significant and far reaching legal implications. The normal time limit for bringing a civil action is three to six years.

In this case, that period has been extended to over 50 years despite the fact that the key decision makers are dead and unable to give their account of what happened.

Since this is an important legal issue, we have taken the decision to appeal. In light of the legal proceedings it would not be appropriate for the Government to comment any further on the detail of the case.

– Foreign Office statement

Advertisement

Judge approves torture claims trial

The three Kenyans won a ruling from Mr Justice McCombe last year that they had "arguable cases in law".

But the case came back to London's High Court in July to consider a claim by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that the actions were brought outside the legal time limit.

Lawyers for Wambugu Wa Nyingi, Paulo Muoka Nzili and Jane Muthoni Mara argued that it was an exceptional case in which the judge should exercise his discretion in their favour.

Today, Mr Justice McCombe said they had established a proper case for the court to exercise its discretion and allowed their claims to proceed to trial.

Load more updates