originally by: The Guardian
published: 16th March 2012
A decision over whether to charge guards from the private security firm G4S over the death of detainee Jimmy Mubenga is imminent, Britain’s most senior prosecutor has said.
Mubenga, a 46-year-old Angolan asylum seeker, died after being restrained by the guards, who were deporting him on a British Airways flight from Heathrow in October 2010.
The investigation into the father of five’s death has been ongoing for 17 months, prompting complaints from his family and asylum-seeker campaigners.
Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, has now given a detailed account of the delays and suggested the final decision will be taken shortly.
In a letter to Keith Vaz MP, the chairman of parliament’s home affairs select committee, said prosecutors had been reviewing detailed pathology reports and information from experts in restraint and resuscitation. They have also had access to 320 witness statements, including 145 from passengers on the aircraft.
Starmer said the guards have been bailed eight times over the past 17 months. Their next bail date is 28 March.
Police arrested the three guards two days after Mubenga’s death, after a Guardian investigation revealed accounts from passengers who said the Angolan had been forcibly restrained before losing consciousness.