6 Oct 2012

Kenyan torture case to proceed in London

5:31 am on 6 October 2012

The High Court in London has ruled that three Kenyans who were tortured under British colonial rule in the 1950s can proceed with their case for compensation against the British government.

Now in their 70s and 80s, the claimants were castrated, raped and beaten while in detention during a crackdown by British forces and their Kenyan allies on rebels from the Mau Mau movement fighting for land and freedom.

The trio want Britain to apologise and to fund welfare benefits for Kenyan victims of torture by colonial forces.

The High Court in London on Friday ruled the case could proceed despite the time elapsed.

The ruling means the case will now go to a full trial.

The BBC reports the government had been trying for three years to block the action. It accepts the colonial administration tortured detainees, but denies liability and will appeal.

In 2011, the High Court ruled the claimants - Paulo Muoka Nzili, Wambuga Wa Nyingi and Jane Muthoni Mara - did have "arguable cases in law".

On Friday, Mr Justice McCombe ruled the victims had established a proper case for the court to exercise its discretion and allowed their claims to proceed to trial.