BA149 Passenger: The government is lying, I remember what I saw

A businessman who was held hostage for four-and-a-half months after his British Airways flight landed in Kuwait as it was being invaded by Iraq in 1990 has dismissed the government’s apology over the incident, saying Mune: It’s a lie and a cover-up.

Errie Manners was a 24-year-old businessman who was about to go on an 18-day holiday with his partner when the people on board were taken prisoner as a so-called “human shield” by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein on August 2, 1990. Allied forces’ response to liberate Kuwait.

Mr Manners, 54, of Kent, said some of his hostages had threatened him at gunpoint and spent two years on his release just before Christmas that year.


Barry Manners, when he was 24 and after being taken hostage in Iraq in 1990, BA Flight 149 landed in Kuwait at the start of an invasion by Iraqi forces (Barry Manners/PA).

He said he would accept the government’s apology on the matter – that British Airways had not been warned of intelligence that Iraqi forces had entered Kuwait, such as Flight BA 149 headed for the Gulf state – if They “cleaned up”.

He also rejected the government’s refusal to allow soldiers on board at the last minute to help with the liberation effort.

Mr. Manners, as previously classified documents about the incident were first released, told the PA news agency: “It’s a lie. I’m surprised they’re still saying that. The evidence is so refutable.” Should be.

“If the government was using British Airways as a de facto military transport, come clean and accept it.

When people lie to me, I get upset. So, no, I do not accept the apology. it’s a thugBarry Manors, BA149 Passenger

“I live in the real world, I’m not a snowflake – if they pulled us into a room and said: ‘So sorry, we had to do this, it’s a year to pay income tax and here’s the British Have a gold card for Airways, keep your gob off’, I’d say ‘fair enough’.

“But when people lie to me, I get upset. So, no, I don’t accept an apology. It’s a swindle.”

Mr Manners said he remembered sitting on the plane with his then-partner, Anthony, when about eight people boarded, sometime after everyone else was seated.

He said several passengers had made “an attempt” with their attire for the flight, stopping in Kuwait to refuel before heading to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, after the mysterious passenger “appeared to be ten years old wearing sports clothes”. Were “dead in can be seen”.

There has long been speculation that the flight was allowed to continue to Kuwait even though other flights were being diverted, as it was used to transport a group of special forces to the country for intelligence gathering. was going.


Barry Manners (left) and Shaiman Roel, resident engineers of the Dukan Dam in Iraq, where Mr Manners was taken hostage in 1990 (Handout/PA)

In her statement, Ms Truss said the files were consistent with a statement from ministers in 2007 that “the government at the time did not attempt to exploit the flight in any way whatsoever”.

Mr Manners, a retired businessman and beach cleaner in Kent’s Botany Bay, said: “Who on earth were they then? Rugby team member?

“These were serious people, you just had to see them.

“I’m absolutely bewildered. I know what I saw happen to that plane. I know they were soldiers.”

Mr Manners said his accommodation was “tolerable” while being held hostage, and that he was able to cope with the captivity by retreating into a fantasy world and “stuffing my face”.

But he was also threatened by Iraqi police carrying firearms, who sometimes hit him in the face and body.

He was later released, but said he found it “very difficult to function” for the first few years.

Mr. Manners said: “I believe in democracy and the rule of law. But what so many people have said about this government, and probably all governments, has been confirmed, that they lie.

“It looks to me like it’s being presented as an unfortunate cock-up.”

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