LONDON - Three elderly Kenyans who claim they were victims of torture and sexual abuse at the hands of British colonial rulers during the 1950s Mau Mau uprising were on Friday given the right to sue Britain. The judgement at the High Court in London came after a two-week hearing in July on allegations that Jane Muthoni Mara, Paulo Muoka Nzili and Wambugu Wa Nyingi were subjected to torture and mutilation. The trio’s lawyers said Nzili was castrated, Nyingi severely beaten and Mara subjected to appalling abuse in detention camps during the Mau Mau rebellion. A fourth claimant, Ndiku Mutwiwa Mutua, has died since legal proceedings began.

High Court judge Richard McCombe ruled on Friday that “a fair trial on this part of the case does remain possible and that the evidence on both sides remains significantly cogent for the Court to complete its task satisfactorily”. The judge said: “I am justified in concluding that the available documentary base is very substantial indeed and capable of giving a very full picture of what was going on in government and military circles in both London and Kenya during the ‘emergency’.”