Dispute: court to rule on UK sovereignty claim

Success of case could lead to return of hundreds of exiled islanders who were forced to leave archipelago

Chagos islanders: in the 1,500 residents were deported in 1971 and the largest island, Diego Garcia, was leased to the US as a strategic air base. Photograph: David Levene

Chagos islanders: in the 1,500 residents were deported in 1971 and the largest island, Diego Garcia, was leased to the US as a strategic air base. Photograph: David Levene

Britain’s sovereignty over the Chagos Islands and America’s lease for the Diego Garcia military base could be thrown into doubt by an international court hearing due to open in Istanbul on Tuesday.

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I sincerely hope the Brits and Americans get egg all over their faces in this debacle. It should never have happened.

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