A Pan African Human Rights Organisation challenging the misrepresentation of African people, culture and history in the British media.
Fri 23 August 2013
CPS refer ‘mau mau’ war crime complaint to Police
The Crown Prosecution Service forwards ‘mau mau’ era complaint about British war criminals to the Metropolitan Police’s SO15 unit.
Submitted By: Toyin Agbetu
Keir Starmer, the UK’s Director of Public Prosecutions has referred a complaint about war crimes committed by British colonial officers to the Metropolitan Police. Starmer has indicated it is for the Met’s SO15 unit ‘to decide whether it is feasible to undertake a full investigation or not’.
In his letter to the Ligali Organisation he states;
“The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is not an investigative body and has no powers to investigate allegations of crime. The war crimes team of the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command (S015) is responsible for the investigation of all allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and torture.”
Ligali’s original complaint to the Starmer and Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General outlined the wealth of evidence available revealing the culpability of men such as;
- John Cowan, the sadistic senior superintendent of prisons in Kenya from 1957 to 1963.
- Second Lieutenant David Larder, who quit after admitting killing an African when he was nineteen.
- Terence Gavaghan, who admitted that a “resistor... was put on the ground, a foot placed on his throat and mud stuffed in his mouth”
- Alan Lennox-Boyd, secretary of state for the colonies
- Eric Griffiths-Jones, the attorney general of Kenya, who drafted changes to the law enabling abuses where those who protested would have their throats crushed and mouth stuffed with dirt before being rendered unconscious.
Ligali made a formal request calling for the CPS to use the available evidence to prosecute not investigate those responsible for these war crimes. On 27 June 2013, the Attorney General’s office responded by saying ‘I have discussed the matter with the CPS, and it has agreed to look into the matters’.
Toyin Agbetu said; “Starmer’s response is confusing. It seems like stalling tactics. There is a wealth of available evidence following the aborted prosecution of the British government for the atrocities it committed in colonial Kenya. In fact the relevant evidence outlining several justiciable offences has already been placed before the courts and thus does not warrant a further lengthy investigation.”
War Crime Referrals
Guidelines on the CPS website regarding referral of war crimes to SO15 states “Section 153 of the Police and Social Responsibility Act 2011 requires the consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) before an arrest warrant can be issued for grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions, hostage-taking and torture.”
SO15 is then said to test the following criteria amongst other items in an ‘initial scoping exercise’ to determine whether the referral will be followed up with a formal investigation.
1. Is the suspect named or identifiable?
2. What is the nationality and location of the named and identifiable suspect?
3. Identification of victims/witnesses where suspect is named/ identifiable and either UK national/resident/present or likely to be present in the UK
4. Consultation with International Criminal Court and ad hoc tribunals
During this process a detailed analysis of various related factors is then said to be assessed for SO15 to “decide whether a safe and proportionate investigation is feasible”.
The head of SO15 is Cressida Dick.
Dick is the officer who whilst in charge of Operation Kratos presided over the extra-judicial killing of the innocent Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes, 27 at Stockwell tube station on 22 July 2005.
No one has been held accountable for his death.
Just as with the various illict ‘mau mau’ operations, the development of Kratos involved many state agencies “including the Home Office, MI5, Special Forces, the MoD, the attorney general, the director of public prosecutions and Treasury lawyers”.
Toyin Agbetu added “There is cogent admissible evidence available and a prosecution that would clearly meet the public interest test. I had believed Starmer a thoughtful and independent man of integrity who upheld principles of justice and human rights instead of human wrongs. We can only hope his decision to involve SO15 and invoke War Crimes/Crimes Against Humanity Referral Guidelines is not a politically motivated tactic designed to defer or thwart the process of justice.”
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Why the stalling? There is cogent admissible evidence available and a prosecution that would clearly meet the public interest test.
Toyin Agbetu, Ligali Organisation
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