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Nepalese Colonel Kumar Lama acquitted of charges of torture by UK court

A Nepalese Colonel Kumar Lama was this week acquitted of charges of ordering the torture of a Nepalese civilian by the Central Criminal Court in London. 
Mr Lama was arrested in 2013 while in the UK on leave from his posting as a UN peacekeeper in South Sudan and charged under s. 134(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 in the UK. This section permits the prosecution in the UK to bring charges against any "public official or person in an official capacity" of any nationality, who commits the offence of torture anywhere in the world, during the course of performing his or her official duties. 
The charges against Mr Lama alleged that he ordered the torture of two detainees in Nepalese Army barracks in 2005. During the original trial, both alleged victims gave testimony in person to the London court. However, at the conclusion of the original trial on August 1, 2016, the jury acquitted Lama of torture charges against one of the detainees and said they could not reach a conclusion about the second charge. 
The decision by the Central Criminal Court in London this week accepted the Crown Prosecution Service's decision not to proceed to a re-trial on the second charge. The Prosecution Service's spokesperson said, "This was an unusual and challenging case and we respect the decision of the jury."
In a press release by REDRESS, a human rights organisation committed to ending torture and bringing justice to torture survivors, they expressed disappointment about the decision. Carla Ferstman, Director of REDRESS, stated that problems with the case arose from the fact that the actual incidents of torture happened over 10 years prior to the trial thousands of miles away from the court and there were issues of interpretation for the victims whose language of testimony was not English. "The Metropolitan Police and the Crown Prosecution Service put a lot of work into bringing the case to trial, and despite the verdicts, we believe it was right and proper and important that they did so," she said in the press release. 
Ms Ferstman added, "[t]he key message that remains is that torture suspects can face prosecution in the UK even where the alleged crimes occurred abroad."