LONDON, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- A high court in London ruled Tuesday that Bahraini Prince Nasser bin Hamad al-Khalifa is not immune from prosecution under the 1978 State Immunity Act.
The Crown Protection Service's ruling reverses a 2012 decision that, because of his immunity, authorities could not investigate allegations the prince was involved in torturing detained pro-democracy demonstrators in 2011.
With the High Court's ruling, lawyers for a Bahraini refugee, referred to as FF, are pushing for Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command to reconsider and investigate the allegations. Tom Hickman, an attorney for FF, said Tuesday, "This clears the way for an investigation of the prince and for consent for an arrest warrant to be sought... Further evidence will be submitted to the police in due course."
The government of Bahrain issued a statement in response to the court's ruling, acknowledging that the issue of immunity was "academic" because of the "absence of evidence" against the prince.
"This has been an ill-targeted, politically motivated and opportunistic attempt to misuse the British legal system. The government of Bahrain again categorically denies the allegations against Sheikh Nasser."