Man arrested in Sussex over Nepal civil war torture claims

 

A former colonel in the Nepalese army has been arrested by Scotland Yard anti-terrorist officers over claims that he tortured a suspected Maoist during the country’s long-running civil war.

The 46-year-old man was arrested in the seaside town of St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, this morning. He was questioned at a police station while the home was searched, police said.

His alleged victim claimed to have been tortured in 2005, the year when Nepal’s king imposed a brutally-enforced emergency law in a failed attempt to quash a Maoist rebellion against his rule. King Gyanendra was stripped of his powers the following year to end 10-years of civil war in which thousands of people were killed and thousands more injured and tortured. A republic was declared in 2008.

Solicitors for the victim said that the alleged torturer had been given British citizenship. “I am delighted and relieved to hear that finally the officer who was involved in torturing me has been arrested,” said the victim, who has not been named, in a statement issued by his solicitor. “I trust that the British system will deliver justice; something I was not able to get in my own country.”

The colonel, who has also not been named, was arrested under section 134 of the 1988 Criminal Justice Act, which makes torture by a public official an offence wherever it is committed in the world.

Only one person has  been convicted of torture under the law since it was introduced. Farayadi Sawar Zardad was convicted in July 2005 of conspiracy to commit torture and take hostages in Afghanistan between 1991 and 1996.

Torture is not a crime in Nepal despite repeated government promises and campaigns by rights groups. Victims can only claim small sums in compensation and a court can recommend disciplinary charges for military torturers.

The UN recorded more than 2,500 cases of torture during the conflict. “Torture, mutilation, and other sorts of cruel and inhumane and degrading treatment appear to have been perpetrated extensively during the conflict, according to available data, by both the security forces and the Maoists,” the UN said in a report last year.

Kate Maynard, the complainant’s solicitor, said: “This firm has worked very hard on a number of these cases and it is a source of great satisfaction to know that the UK takes seriously its international obligation to investigate and where appropriate to prosecute alleged crimes of this nature”.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Voices
Ed Miliband and David Cameron are neck and neck in the polls
election 2015Armando Iannucci: on how British politics is broken
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power