Kenyan born British millionaire Perry Mansukhlal Kansagra has been charged with manslaughter following a damn burst on his farm estate in Kenya which killed 48 villagers.
The 44-year-old has denied the charges, but could face life imprisonment if found guilty.
Although Kansagra was in the UK when the disaster happened, he is now on bail in Kenya and has been forced to surrender both his British and Kenyan passports.
The damn was built on a stream near Kansagra’s 33,000-acre Patel Farm, near the township of Solai in Nakuru County, which grows tea, coffee and roses.
In May, heavy rain washed away homes and schools in three villages downstream. Among the 48 victims were 23 were children with a further 5,000 residents losing their homes in the tragedy.
Kasangra has refuted claims made by Kenyan politicians that the dam was built illegally and in a television interview he denied the construction breached regulations and said that heavy seasonal rains in the region were to blame for the collapse of the dam’s walls
“All the dams are legal, they have proper permission from authorities of the Water Department, we have all their proper permission and we have been paying all the fees on time. They [the authorities] have continuously been coming to look and inspect the dams,” he said.
Mr Kansagra was born in Kenya, where his large family have a string of business interests, but their empire is based in Britain and includes One Aldwych, the five-star hotel in London.
His family were listed in the Sunday Times Rich List as the 388th richest family in Britain with an estimated worth of £320 million from interests in oil and gas, agriculture, mineral processing, shipping and property in both the UK and Africa.