Passengers and British Airways (BA) crew members who had been taken hostage after flying into Kuwait in 1990 are getting ready to take authorized motion towards the federal government – with a legislation agency claiming they had been handled as “disposable collateral” throughout an “off-the-books army operation”.
The UK authorities and BA have “hid and denied the reality for greater than 30 years”, it’s alleged.
BA Flight 149 landed within the early hours of two August 1990 as Iraqi forces crossed the border.
An hour earlier than the aircraft touched all the way down to refuel, the International Workplace was warned of the invasion by the then British ambassador to Kuwait, documents released in November 2021 showed.
There was hypothesis the flight was getting used to insert a UK particular forces group into Kuwait.
Greater than 300 folks onboard had been detained by Iraqi troops, starting an ordeal that lasted virtually 5 months.
A few of them suffered post-traumatic stress and had been used as “human shields” towards Western assaults by Saddam Hussein.
BA has denied being advised in regards to the Iraqi invasion – one thing backed up by International Workplace recordsdata launched to the Nationwide Archives – whereas the federal government has stated the blame for the passengers’ ordeal “lies totally” with the federal government of Saddam Hussein.
However McCue Jury and Companions stated “proof exists” that the federal government and BA “knew the invasion had already begun” once they allowed the aircraft to land as a result of it was getting used to insert a group into Kuwait “for a particular army operation”.
“Each have hid and denied the reality for greater than 30 years,” stated managing associate Matthew Jury.
He added: “The victims and survivors of Flight BA149 deserve justice for being handled as disposable collateral.
“The lives and security of harmless civilians had been sacrificed by the British authorities and British Airways for the sake of an off-the-books army operation.”
Struggle for the reality and hundreds in compensation
Liz Truss, who was overseas secretary in November 2021 when paperwork had been launched, denied the plane had been exploited to move UK particular forces.
She stated a line of communication between authorities officers and airline firms didn’t exist on the time.
Every of the hostages “could declare an estimated common of £170,000 every in damages”, McCue Jury and Companions stated.
It added that victims need to make sure the “fact is absolutely disclosed” and “due compensation is paid” for permitting the flight to land.
The corporate is interesting for extra passengers and crew members on the flight to affix the declare, which it intends to take to the Excessive Courtroom within the coming months.
Barry Manners, one of many passengers participating within the declare, was a 24-year-old businessman on the time.
“We weren’t handled as residents, however as expendable pawns for business and political acquire,” he stated,
“A victory over years of cover-up and bare-faced denial will assist restore belief in our political and judicial course of.”
A UK authorities spokesman stated: “The federal government has at all times condemned the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the struggling that adopted, and the mistreatment of these aboard BA149.
“The duty for these occasions and the mistreatment of these passengers and crew lies totally with the federal government of Iraq on the time.”
A BA spokesman added: “Our hearts exit to all these caught up on this surprising act of conflict simply over 30 years in the past, and who needed to endure a really horrendous expertise.
“UK authorities data launched in 2021 confirmed British Airways was not warned in regards to the invasion.”