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State takes UK to court for 'torture' in Troubles

THE Government will seek to re-open a landmark court case against Britain over the alleged use of torture techniques on several men in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, the High Court heard.

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will be asked to revise its controversial 1978 judgment over the alleged use of the techniques in 1971 on a group known as "the hooded men" because hoods were place over their heads during interrogation.

The men and their families said the case should be reopened after new information emerged in an RTE programme entitled The Torture Files.


Last week, the men launched High Court proceedings aimed at compelling the Government to decide if it was to seek to revise the 1978 ECHR finding that their treatment, while inhuman and degrading, did not constitute torture.

Yesterday, High Court President Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns was told by Michael McDowell SC, for the State, that the Government had decided to request the ECHR to revise its judgment.

The judge welcomed the decision and agreed to strike out the action.

Several of the men who were at the Four Courts yesterday embraced after the announcement was made.