High Court 'pardon' bid for Boer war soldier 'Breaker' Morant

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tags: Telegraph (UK), Australia, Breaker Morant, Boer War

His death in front of a firing squad was the defining moment of one of the best known, and most bitter, episodes of the Boer War: British-Australian soldier Harry “Breaker” Morant was court martialled and sentenced to death in 1902 for shooting prisoners.

But now, more than a century on, campaigners are to launch a legal bid at the High Court in London to force the Government to open an inquiry into the case with a view to securing a posthumous pardon for Morant, as well as fellow soldiers, Peter Handcock, shot for the same offence, and George Witton, who was jailed for life.

The supporters believe the men were simply following British army orders when they executed their prisoners and that they were used as scapegoats by embarrassed senior officers, including Lord Kitchener, and to accelerate peace talks with the Boers.

Jim Unkles, a military lawyer who has taken the case on, said: “I am applying to the High Court for a review of the British government decision not to help an independent inquiry. I am filing papers next month. The appeal will be on the basis that there were major errors at the court martial, that it was an abuse of protest and that these men were denied their rights. Kitchener conspired to get them executed.”...

Read entire article at Telegraph (UK)

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