Sir Peter Stewart concluded that the passage of time since the alleged ill-treatment was so great that it was impossible for the crown to mount a meaningful defence, writes David Elstein
What Bryan Cox and Mary Ruck (Letters, 20 May) do not tell your readers about the claims for compensation by the Kenyan litigants they represented was that they were all dismissed by the judge, Sir Peter Stewart, after one of the longest trials in British legal history – 230 hearing days spread over four years. He concluded that the passage of time since the alleged ill-treatment was so great that it was impossible for the crown to mount a meaningful defence, especially in the absence of virtually any corroborative evidence.
Nearly all those alleged to have committed the claimed offences were either dead or not traceable. Moreover, almost none of those accused in these 40,000 claims was a member of the British army: policemen and prison warders were the alleged culprits in nearly all cases. Abuses in screening camps were repeatedly investigated at the time, and more than 100 policemen, home guards and prison warders were prosecuted, convicted and jailed. The army had almost nothing to do with screening and detention.
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