Security firm G4S may face charges over death

originally by: The Guardian
16th March 2011

Scotland Yard is considering bringing a corporate manslaughter charge against the world’s largest private security firm over the death of an Angolan deportee. Detectives investigating the death of Jimmy Mubenga, who collapsed while being deported on a commercial flight from Heathrow, have interviewed whistleblowers from G4S, the company hired by the government to deport foreign nationals.

They are considering whether the company could be held responsible for his death under rarely used legislation that came into force three years ago.

Passengers on British Airways flight 77 told police they saw three G4S guards heavily restraining Mubenga, who they said had been complaining of breathing difficulties before he collapsed. The guards were later arrested in connection with the death and, following interviews this week, were bailed until 4 May. They could face manslaughter charges.

However, sources with knowledge of the case have said police are also considering passing a file to the Crown Prosecution Service recommending a corporate manslaughter charge against G4S.

The first and only company to be convicted under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 was found guilty last month. Cotswold Geotechnical Holdings was fined £385,000 for the death of Alexander Wright, 27, a geologist who suffocated when he became trapped in a collapsed trench.

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