3 Jun 2005

Veterans of British nuclear test in Kiribati seek funding for compensation fight

1:26 pm on 3 June 2005

Lawyers representing veterans of British nuclear tests on Kiritimati Island in Kiribati are locked in talks with a British government agency in a bid to fund their battle for compensation.

More than 9-hundred Fiji, New Zealand and British participants of the 1950s tests are suing the British ministry of defence for illnesses they say stem from exposure to radiation.

Solicitors in the firm Alexander Harris say they're talking to the British Legal Services Commission on whether it will continue to fund their action against the ministry of defence.

A spokeswoman for the solicitors, Claire Rowley, says they don't know how these cases will progress particularly with reference to funding.

The Legal Services Commission has already funded preliminary investigations into the possibility of compensation claims.

The ministry has agreed to adjourn High Court proceedings until the Legal Services Commission has decided on the funding of the litigation.