Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Mau Mau win the right to sue Britain

Four elderly Kenyans who say they were tortured by the British during the Mau Mau uprising have won the right to sue the Government.

The decision is expected to encourage people around world to seek compensation claims against Britain for atrocities carried out under colonial rule.

The three men and one woman claim that they were brutally tortured by troops, officials and prison guards as Britain struggled to put down a rebellion that led to the deaths of 10,000 Kenyans.

Speaking at the High Court yesterday, Mr Justice McCombe said the group had "arguable cases in law" and paved the way for a month-long compensation trial that will take place early next year.

The Government had tried to argue that responsibility for abuses during the rebellion should rest with the abusers themselves or the Kenyan government, which took over after colonial rule ended in 1963. But Mr Justice McCombe threw out that argument: "These claimants have arguable cases in law."