Three G4S custody officers are to face manslaughter charges following the death of detainee Jimmy Mubenga as he was being deported to Angola.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said that following an inquest into Mr Mubenga’s death there was sufficient evidence to prosecute Colin Kaler, 51, Terrence Hughes, 53, and Stuart Tribelnig, 38.
The July 2013 inquest, which brought new evidence to light, ruled that Mr Mubenga, 46, was unlawfully killed.
Mr Mubenga died on 12 October 2010 from cardio-respiratory collapse on a British Airways flight to Angola before it left Heathrow airport. He was being escorted by three security guards from G4S Care and Justice Services UK Limited, contracted by the UK Border Agency.
The CPS reviewed whether the G4S should face charges under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act and corporate manslaughter under the common law, but concluded there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the firm.
In 2012, the CPS decided no charges should be brought against the three employees.
The three men will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 7 April 2014.
“We have completed a fresh review of all of the evidence relating to the death of Jimmy Mubenga, including the new evidence arising from the inquest, and decided that three men should be prosecuted for manslaughter,” said Malcolm McHaffie, deputy head of CPS special crime.
“There is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute Colin Kaler, Terrence Hughes and Stuart Tribelnig.”
Adrienne Makenda Kambana, Jimmy Mubenga’s widow, said: “My children and I have waited a long time for this decision. We hope the CPS will now move this case forward quickly. We feel like we are another step closer to getting justice for Jimmy.”
Mark Scott, solicitor for Jimmy Mubenga’s family said: “The family look to the Crown Prosecution Service now to ensure that they prosecute the case with the rigour and robustness required by the evidence available to them. It has been a three and a half year struggle for the family to get to this point and they hope to get on with their lives once this final challenge is met.”
A statement issued by the three men’s solicitor said they “vigorously” denied the charges. "My clients are very disappointed with the CPS decision, having previously been told after a very lengthy police investigation that no charges would be brought against them. They will be vigorously denying these charges in court."
Mr Mubenga had been in the UK for 16 years after fleeing Angola with his wife and children. After a lengthy legal battle he was granted exceptional leave to remain.
In 2006, following a fight in a night club, Mr Mubenga was convicted of actual bodily harm and sentenced to two years in jail. After serving his sentence he was transferred to an immigration detention centre as the Home Office sought to deport him back to Angola.
Photograph of Jimmy Mubenga by 4Ward Ever UK
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