Thursday, 26 July 2007
Perhaps the more experienced members of the bloggeratti can offer a little advice on this.
Last weeks Sunday Times (which I have only just got around to reading - took the little monsters to Legoland in Windsor for a couple of days – considering doing post about the trip ?!?) revealed information regarding a piece of evidence critical to the Cash for Honours was detailed. This was a diary kept by Sir Christopher Evans which allegedly detailed a series of meetings at the House of Lords in 2004 with Lord Levy, Blair’s chief fundraiser, to discuss a peerage.
A well-placed Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) source apparently said the diary was “dynamite” and provided “spectacular” evidence of an alleged “agreement” for Evans to be ennobled in return for a £1m loan.
A CPS official said that this was one of the pieces of evidence which formed the core police investigation, which the Yard believed until recently would lead to charges against key Downing Street aides.
However, the investigation was effectively halted at a meeting on July 4 when a leading government barrister, David Perry QC, ruled that the diary was not admissible as evidence.
Perry also said the police must have evidence of an “unambiguous agreement” showing that the financial backers gave money only on the explicit understanding that they would be honoured in return. The CPS announced last week it would not be charging anyone.
I’m no expert on criminal law so I can’t offer an assessment and would welcome anyone’s thoughts on this. But doesn’t this suggest that the decision on the admissibility of the evidence was hardly coming from an impartial source with all of the implications that flow from it?
The fact that the this hasn’t been picked up by the many bloggers who have closely followed the case probably goes to highlight my ignorance of the rules around the admissibility of evidence rather than some great insight. But the Police are surely not fools when it comes to knowing what evidence is admissible. Also that fact that the CPS source quoted thought the evidence was ‘dynamite’ would suggest that if this had been allowed to go forward then a case could have been brought before the courts.
From a lay persons perspective it smells but I am happy to be corrected.