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Prisoner of war in court battle Prisoner of war wins court battle
(about 12 hours later)
A woman who spent four years as a Japanese prisoner of war will learn on Tuesday if she has won her ongoing case against the British government. A woman deemed "not British enough" to be compensated for spending four years as a Japanese prisoner of war has won her case against the government.
For five years, officials denied Diana Elias, 82, compensation as she had no "blood link" to the UK. Diana Elias, 83, is entitled to a £10,000 award plus nearly £4,000 for injury to her feelings, the Court of Appeal ruled on Tuesday.
They were forced to give her a £10,000 payout following a High Court ruling last year. The government denied Mrs Elias from Colindale, north London, compensation as she had no "blood link" to the UK.
But Ms Elias, from Colindale, north London, is now going to the Court of Appeal to prove her Britishness. In his judgment, Lord Justice Mummery criticised the handling of the scheme.
Last year when the Ministry of Defence granted her compensation, they claimed it was on the basis that she had lived in the country for more than 20 years.
Solicitor John Salford says the MoD has got it wrong
But Ms Elias has gone to the Court of Appeal to argue a point of principle - that the money she was given should have been granted to her on the basis of her British nationality - rather than how long she has lived in the country.
"The Japanese only interned civilians who were British," she said.
"If we were not British me and my family would never have been interned and we would have had our house and all our belongings."
In 2000, when the government announced its compensation scheme, Ms Elias was told she did not qualify because her parents were born in Iraq and India.
Her solicitor John Halford, a solicitor specialising in public law and human rights, said: "I think the Ministry of Defence needs to acknowledge that she merits being compensated not because of however long she's lived in this country but because she was British at the time, has always been British and is British now."