Who? Jonathan Grimes, partner and criminal lawyer at Kingsley Napley, London.
Why is he in the news? Acted for Colonel Kumar Lama, a Nepalese national and officer in the Nepal Army, who was accused of torture. Lama denied allegations that, in 2005, he ordered the torture of two detainees held at his battalion barracks in Nepal.
On 1 August an Old Bailey jury acquitted Lama of one of the charges but was unable to reach a verdict on the second charge. Following a subsequent review of the evidence relating to the remaining charge the CPS informed the court on 6 September that it had concluded there was no longer a realistic prospect of conviction. As a result the court acquitted Lama of that charge also.
Thoughts on the case: ‘It was a really interesting case legally because it was only the second time someone has been prosecuted in England for the offence of torture. It is an offence of universal jurisdiction, which means the prosecution can be brought in the UK even though events occurred abroad.
‘In this case all the events occurred in Nepal. There were considerable challenges in preparing the case. For example, we had to send a team to Nepal to trace and interview witnesses.’
Dealing with the media: ‘Up until last week there has been fairly limited reporting of the case, partly because of reporting restrictions that were imposed. Since the verdict there has been some coverage by UK media but far more in Nepal where it has been a big story.’
Why become a lawyer? ‘I previously worked in social work. I realised that the law combined an opportunity to continue to work with people but also to be challenged intellectually.’
Career high: ‘The moment my client was acquitted in the first trial that I clerked as a trainee.’
Career low: ‘My first visit to Belmarsh, a maximum security prison. I lost my legal visits badge which resulted in the whole legal visits area being locked down. The lawyers within the area were not allowed to leave until the badge was found. It was in the inside pocket of my jacket.’