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Batang Kali massacre inquiry request denied by appeals court

March 19, 2014 at 3:34 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, March 19 (UPI) -- A British appeals court has rejected a request for a new investigation into the 1948 Batang Kali massacre, but have paved the way for another appeal.

On Wednesday, the British Court of Appeals dismissed a request for an independent inquiry filed by the relatives of 24 men killed by British troops on a Malaysian rubber plantation, the Guardian reported.

The three judges presiding over the case said a precedent had been set, forcing them to dismiss the case, but invited the Malaysian families to pursue their case in Britain's Supreme Court.

The judges called the initial investigation "woefully inadequate," and pointed to confessions by some of the Scots Guards soldiers who alleged the plantation workers were "shot down in cold blood."

"The confessions which arose in 1969-70 were of potential significance and remain so, not least because the investigation within which they emerged was brought to an abrupt halt. They have never been tested or discredited," the judges said in their ruling.

A "move in that direction would now be a matter for the supreme court rather than for us," the ruling said.

Quek Ngee Meng, coordinator for the Action Committee Condemning the Batang Kali Massacre, said: "Despite the dismissal of the families' appeal, our journey to seek redress and justice has not come to an end. The destination is not too far off either. Either United Kingdom human rights law needs to catch up with Europe with the help of the United Kingdom Supreme Court, or the families will need to go to Europe for satisfaction."

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