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UK troops face questioning over woman’s 2012 murder in Kenya | World News

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Nine British soldiers face being questioned over the murder of a Kenyan woman whose body was found in a septic tank of a hotel close to a UK army camp more than nine years ago.

The body of 21-year-old Agnes Wanjiru was discovered at the Lions Court Inn in Nanyuki two months after she disappeared in March 2012.

The town, which lies some 122 miles (196km) north of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, is close to the British Training Unit Kenya, which is commonly known as BATUK.

Ministry of Defence in London
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The Ministry of Defence says it is in discussion with the Kenyan authorities

An initial inquiry stalled, but a fresh investigation was launched after an inquest delayed until 2019 found Ms Wanjiru was unlawfully killed, according to The Sunday Times.

A post-mortem examination found she died as a result of stab wounds to her chest and abdomen.

There was also evidence she had been beaten, although due to the condition of her body it was unclear whether she had been sexually assaulted.

Witnesses told The Sunday Times that Ms Wanjiru, a sex worker, was last seen leaving the hotel’s bar with a British soldier.

A previous investigation into her death foundered when a request by Kenyan police in June 2012 to the British Royal Military Police (RMP) that nine soldiers be questioned apparently went missing.

Detectives are said to have asked the RMP to put 13 questions to the soldiers, including whether any of them had sex with Ms Wanjiru on the night she disappeared.

A photo of the victim was included in the request, as well as a request for DNA samples to be taken from the nine men.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said it received no such request for assistance in summer 2012, but is now “in discussion with the Kenyan authorities to determine what support is needed”.

It said RMP Special Investigation Branch (SIB) officers had been in Kenya for unrelated reasons around the time of Ms Wanjiru’s murder, and had assisted in compiling the list of the nine soldiers.

The victim’s sister, Rose Wanyua Wanjiku, now 48, told The Sunday Times: “She was in the company of some British soldiers. I believe they were responsible.

“The Kenyan police should have forced the British Army to produce the culprits to face the law.”

An MoD spokesman said: “In 2012, Special Investigation Branch carried out initial inquiries in Kenya, including providing information about British personnel to the Kenyan police.

“No further requests for assistance were received.

“Following the conclusion of a Kenyan inquest in 2019, we are aware that the Kenyan authorities are looking into this incident.

“The jurisdiction for this investigation rests with the Kenyan police, and we are currently in discussions with the Kenyan authorities to determine what support is needed.

“Due to this being subject to an ongoing investigation it would be inappropriate to comment further.”

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Brexit: Latest Northern Ireland Protocol talks ‘constructive’, says UK – as EU negotiators head for London | Politics News

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UK officials have described the latest talks with the EU over the controversial Northern Ireland Protocol as “constructive”, as a Brussels delegation prepares to travel to London on Tuesday.

Measures recently proposed by the EU would cut checks on retail agri-food products arriving in Northern Ireland from Great Britain by 80%.

A 50% reduction in customs paperwork is also on the cards.

It is understood, however, that the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in resolving disputes between the UK and the EU remains a key sticking point.

A UK government source said the arrangement “must end”, while the European Commission has insisted it will not budge on the issue.

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EU’s Sefcovic pushed on UK’s red lines around ECJ

The UK source said: “The talks this week were constructive and we’ve heard some things from the EU that we can work with – but the reality is that we are still far apart on the big issues, especially governance.

“There’s been plenty of speculation about governance this week but our position remains unchanged: the role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in resolving disputes between the UK and EU must end.”

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The source added that “real progress” must happen “soon” to avoid a “process of endless negotiation”.

At the end of the week, once several days of negotiations have been completed, Brexit minister Lord Frost and EU Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic are due to meet in Westminster.

The protocol is designed to avoid the introduction of a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, following Brexit.

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Newcastle United takeover: Crystal Palace fans’ banner protesting Saudi-led consortium’s Tyneside takeover investigated by police | UK News

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A banner unfurled by Crystal Palace fans ahead of Saturday’s draw with Newcastle, protesting the recent Saudi-led takeover of the Tyneside club is being investigated by police.

The graphic sign, held up at Selhurst Park, showed a man wearing Arab-style clothing wielding a bloodied sword about to behead a magpie, as faceless supporters in the background sing: “We’ve got our club back.”

Crystal Palace fans with a banner about Newcastle United's takeover before the match
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The Premier League has been accused of ‘total hypocrisy’ over the deal

It listed offences the regime is accused of by human rights groups – terrorism, beheading, civil rights abuses, murder, censorship and persecution – which were all ticked off on a clipboard under the heading “Premier League Owners Test”.

The top-flight league’s chief executive Richard Masters is also depicted giving a thumbs-up to a bag of cash, standing in a pool of blood.

It comes after the controversial go-ahead was given for a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s state sovereign wealth fund – known as the Public Investment Fund or PIF – to take control of Newcastle United in a £300 m deal, earlier this month.

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This was despite the closeness of the fund to the Saudi state, which has faced criticism over its human rights record.

PIF is chaired by Saudi’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was linked to the gruesome 2018 murder of exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi, although he has denied any involvement.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
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Saudi’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chairs the investment fund

A post on the official Croydon Metropolitan Police Twitter account said: “On Saturday 23 October police received a report of an offensive banner displayed by Crystal Palace fans.

“Officers are assessing the information and carrying out enquiries. Any allegations of racist abuse will be taken very seriously.”

Palace supporters’ group Holmesdale Fanatics released a statement after the banner was unveiled.

It said: “The Saudi led takeover of Newcastle has rightly received widespread condemnation and anger.

“To give the thumbs up to this deal at a time when the Premier League is promoting the women’s game and inclusive initiatives such as rainbow armbands, shows the total hypocrisy at play and demonstrates the league’s soulless agenda where profits trump all.”

Proud and Palace, the club’s official LGBT+ supporters group, also posted a video on its Twitter account which highlighted the case of Suhail al Jameel, a gay man reportedly imprisoned in Saudi Arabia.

A spokeswoman for the group said: “We don’t believe these owners have a place in the Premier League and we want to keep raising awareness.”

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Taiwan: Earthquake of magnitude 6.2 strikes island | World News

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An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 has struck Taiwan, according to the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

It had a depth of 25 miles (40km), the EMSC added.

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