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Ritual Murders (Appeals)

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 3 March 1949

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37.

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations how many of the Basuto prisoners, condemned for ritual murder, have appealed to the Privy Council; and, in view of the fact that no appeal is permitted in Basutoland, if he will undertake to have these cases reviewed and, if necessary, an inquiry held.

Four cases of ritual murder have recently been tried in the High Court of Basutoland, in which 37 prisoners were involved. Thirty-three of them have so far given notice that they will ask for leave to appeal to the Judicial Committee; the others may do so, if they so desire. I am now considering the general question of providing a Court of Appeal for the High Commission Territories.