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Victims of Sexual Abuse by Libyan Cadets Compensated by MoD

By Principal Lawyer, Abuse and Disease Teams

Damages have been paid by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) after our clients suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Libyan cadets.

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The cadets were being trained by the British army at Bassingbourn barracks in Cambridgeshire when they went on the rampage in Cambridge city centre, committing a string of sexual attacks.

Ibrahim Abugtila, 23, and Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud, 33, were found guilty of raping a man and each jailed for 12 years following the attack in October 2014. 

There are still a lot of unanswered questions that the MoD needs to answer, to both our clients who have been through an appalling ordeal as well as the wider community who were terrified at the time.

Three others received shorter custodial sentences after the sexual abuse of four women.

The MoD has not made a formal admission for what we argued was a breach of our two clients’ human rights, but hopefully the settlements that have now been paid will bring them a step closer to getting some closure over these unimaginably traumatic events.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions that the MoD needs to answer, to both our clients who have been through an appalling ordeal as well as the wider community who were terrified at the time.

Residents there had complained of numerous incidents, including alleged sexual assaults and vandalism, in the weeks leading up to the attacks. Security was increased but remained inadequate in our view as five cadets were still able to exit the barracks and commit the attacks.

The crimes prompted the MoD to send 300 soldiers back to their home country prematurely, ending an agreement to put 2,000 soldiers through basic infantry and junior command training in an attempt to help rebuild the troubled nation. The exercise in 2014 cost the UK £13.9m.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman told the BBC: “Compensation payments have been made to two people treated appallingly by several Libyan cadets being trained in the UK.

“We have previously expressed regret that there were things we could have done better with this programme.”

Kim Harrison is Slater and Gordon’s national co-ordinator for human rights and an abuse specialist.

The human rights solicitors at Slater and Gordon are dedicated to challenging discrimination, protecting the rights and freedoms of our clients and representing people who believe their human rights have been violated.

For a free consultation call us on freephone 0800 916 9046 or, alternatively, you can contact us online and we’ll call you.