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UK, British Airways face legal action, over £62million damages over 1990 Kuwait hostage crisis

*McCue Jury and Partners, a legal firm, discloses the victims of the hostage are taking legal action against the airline and UK Government to ensure the ‘truth is fully disclosed, those responsible are held to account, and due compensation is paid’ with  estimated average of £170,000 ($213,000) to each victim as damages

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

McCue Jury and Partners, a law firm Tuesday, September 12, 2023, stated the passengers and crew members of a British Airways (BA) flight taken hostage in Kuwait, in 1990, are planning to take legal action against the British Government and the airline.

It is recalled that passengers on BA flight 149 were taken off the Kuala Lumpur-bound plane when it landed in the Gulf state August 2 in the year that year, hours after Saddam Hussein’s troops swept in.

Some of the 367 passengers and crew spent over four months in captivity, including as human shields against Western attacks at the hands of the late Iraqi dictator.

Representing a group of former BA staff and passengers who were aboard the flight, McCue Jury & Partners, the legal firm, said “the victims are taking legal action to ensure the truth is fully disclosed, those responsible are held to account, and due compensation is paid,” reports AFP.

It was gathered the law firm said: “What the hostages now know is that evidence exists” that the UK Government and the airline “knew the invasion had already begun” but allowed the flight to land anyway.

The firm also alleged that they did so because “the flight was being used to insert a black ops team of former special forces and security services” into Kuwait.

The claim is currently at the pre-action stage and they expect to file the case early next year with the High Court in London.m, report said.

The firm is appealing for more passengers or crew of the BA flight to join the legal action against the airline and the UK Government.

Compensations for 367 hostage victims

The firm further said each of the hostages “may claim an estimated average of £170,000 ($213,000) each in damages.”

“We were not treated as citizens, but as expendable pawns for commercial and political gain,” Barry Manners, who was on the flight and is taking part in the claim, said.

Manners also noted that “a victory over years of cover up and bare-faced denial will help restore trust in our political and judicial process.”

Files released in November 2021 revealed that the UK ambassador to Kuwait informed London about reports of an Iraqi incursion before the flight landed but the message was not circulated to BA, report said.

There have also been claims, denied by the government, that London knowingly put passengers at risk by using the flight to deploy undercover operatives and delayed take-off to allow them to board.

British Government kicks against indictment in crisis

Responding to the imminent legal action against the government and the airline, a UK Government spokesperson said “responsibility for these events and the mistreatment of those passengers and crew lies entirely with the government of Iraq at the time.”

Likewise, the British Airways has always denied accusations of negligence, conspiracy and a cover-up in the incident, according to report.

However, a BA spokesperson reportedly  said the UK Government records released 2021 “confirmed British Airways was not warned about the invasion.”

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