Three former G4S guards to face UK manslaughter charges

LONDON Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:45pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Three former officers of security firm G4S will face manslaughter charges over the 2010 death of a man who died as he was being deported from Britain by the group, government prosecutors said on Thursday.

The prosecutor's office, which had previously ruled out any action in relation to the case, said it had decided not to charge the company itself, the world's largest security firm, for corporate manslaughter.

However Colin Kaler, Terrence Hughes and Stuart Tribelnig will be charged after the office reviewed new evidence from an inquest which found that Jimmy Mubenga had been unlawfully killed when he was restrained by the officers.

Mubenga, 46, died in October 2010 after falling ill as a flight prepared to leave London's Heathrow airport for Angola. The three men no longer work at G4S.

Britain's G4S, listed on the FTSE 100 Index, is still recovering from the damage inflicted when it failed to provide enough security guards at the 2012 London Olympics, forcing the government to provide soldiers to do the job at the last minute.

It is currently being investigated for its role in providing security at an immigration detention centre in Papua New Guinea where deadly clashes broke out last month. G4S recently lost a tender to continue servicing the facility and has said that it supports the investigation.

The group said in a statement that Mubenga's death was a tragic event.

"The welfare of those in our care is always our top priority and we took great care to ensure that our employees on this contract, which has been carried out by another provider since November 2011, were made aware of their responsibilities in this respect," the firm said.

"These employees were also trained, screened and vetted to the standards defined by strict Home Office guidelines."

The three men will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on April 7. Prosecutors said they believed there was a realistic prospect of conviction.

(Reporting by Neil Maidment; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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