Three G4S security guards are to be charged with the manslaughter of Jimmy Mubenga, an asylum seeker who was killed during attempts to deport him from the UK.
Mubenga died in 2010 on a plane at Heathrow Airport. As the plane awaited take-off, Mubenga was physically restrained by the guards. He died of coronary-respiratory failure.
Mubenga had lived in Britain for 16 years. He had fled here from Angola, where, as a student movement leader, he fell foul of the governing regime.
In 2012, the Crown Prosecution Service decided against bringing charges against either the security company G4S, or against the three guards. However, they have now decided to prosecute the guards based on the unlawful killing verdict of a coroner’s inquest.
The coroner’s report was highly critical of the practices and culture of the G4S guards working in deportation. It described a “pervasive” atmosphere of racism, “loutish” behaviour and peer pressure, as well as financial incentives for keeping detainees quiet.
The report argues that these factors combine to create a culture in which the brutal treatment and abuse of those being deported could flourish.
The inquest also discovered that the three guards had “highly offensive” racist jokes on their phones at the time of their arrest.