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  1. #1
    First Lieutenant
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Over the pond

    Default UK: How can we get justice when the system is rotten to the very top ?


    Lost: Jim Devine, David Chaytor, and Elliot Morley, and Conservative peer Lord Hanningfield

    Expenses MPs told: You can't use privilege to escape trial

    Paul Cheston, Courts Correspondent

    Three former Labour MPs and a Tory peer today lost their attempt to avoid standing trial for fiddling their expenses.

    Three Appeal Court judges threw out a bid by David Chaytor, Elliot Morley, Jim Devine and Lord Hanningfield to hide behind parliamentary privilege.
    The four, who claim only Parliament can judge them, have one last chance to avoid trial by taking their case to the Supreme Court.
    They are on bail and due to face a judge and jury at Southwark crown court in separate hearings this year.
    Today, Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, sitting with Lord Neuberger and Sir Anthony May, said the trials should go ahead as planned.
    "It can confidently be stated that parliamentary privilege or immunity from criminal prosecution has never, ever attached to ordinary criminal activities by Members of Parliament," said Lord Judge. "It is difficult to envisage circumstances in which the performance of the core responsibilities of a MP might require or permit him or her to commit crime."
    The judge said: "The stark reality is that the defendants are alleged to have taken advantage of the allowances scheme designed to enable them to perform their important public duties as MPs to commit crimes of dishonesty to which parliamentary immunity or privilege does not, has never, and, we believe, never would attach.
    "If the allegations are proved, and we emphasise, if they are proved, then those against whom they are proved will have committed ordinary crimes.
    "Even stretching language to its limits, we are unable to envisage how dishonest claims by MPs for their expenses or allowances begin to involve the legislative or core functions of the relevant House...In our judgment, no question of privilege arises, and the ordinary process of the criminal justice system should take its normal course."
    Accusations against the four - who have all been charged separately - include falsely claiming rent, falsely claiming interest on a mortgage, dishonest claims for travelling allowances and submitting false invoices.

    CCTV, Luck and a lot of wonga (Cash)
    or you don't get justice. End

    Second Story


    Inmate: former commander Dizaei

    Jailed police chief Ali Dizaei in cell brawl ‘after family picture was defaced’

    Justin Davenport, Crime Correspondent

    Disgraced police chief Ali Dizaei is being investigated over claims he assaulted a fellow prisoner, the Standard can reveal.
    The corrupt former Met commander is accused of attacking the inmate in his cell after a row. But Dizaei, 47, says he was the victim of a racist attack by the man.
    Both prisoners suffered minor injuries and did not need hospital treatment. The fight took place in the Category D open prison where Dizaei was serving a four-year sentence for misconduct in a public office and perverting the course of justice. He has since been moved from the open jail at Prescoed in Monmouthshire to another for his own safety.
    The Welsh prison's governor has called in police to find out who was responsible. One report claims that Dizaei lashed out at his fellow inmate for allegedly defacing a family photograph on the walls of his cell. But Dizaei is counter-claiming that he was the target of a racist attack.
    The former high-flying officer was jailed at Southwark crown court in February after a jury heard how he tried to frame web designer Waad al-Baghdadi in a row over a £600 debt.
    Dizaei assaulted Mr al-Baghdadi, 24, outside an Iranian restaurant in West Kensington, then tried to pretend he was the victim. The then £90,000-a-year commander called police and told officers that the man had attacked him with an Arabian smoking pipe.
    Mr al-Baghdadi complained about his treatment and Dizaei's story fell apart when a doctor gave evidence that his injuries appeared to be self-inflicted.Mr al-Baghdadi later compared Iranian-born Dizaei to gangster Tony Montana from the Al Pacino movie Scarface. The Independent Police Complaints Commission also branded him a “criminal in uniform”.
    Since his conviction, Dizaei has been moved to a series of jails amid fears for his safety. He began his sentence in Wandsworth but was moved to the part-open Category C Edmunds Hill prison in Suffolk. While there, he was knocked out and had excrement poured over his head by an inmate.
    He was transferred to Usk jail in Monmouthshire, which specialises in housing sex offenders and where he was considered to be better protected from attacks. He is now believed to have been moved from Prescoed to Leyhill open prison, Gloucestershire.
    A Prison Service official said: “Two inmates at HMP Prescoed claim they were the victim of assault by the other on August 1. One has been moved.”

    Man once tipped to be Met Commissioner

    Ali Dizaei has courted controversy throughout his career, first as a police officer now as a prison inmate.
    He was once tipped as a future Met Commissioner but became notorious as the most senior policeman in 33 years to be convicted of, and jailed for, a criminal offence.
    Iranian-born Dizaei joined the Met in 1999, the year in which the Macpherson report accused the force of being “institutionally racist”.
    As one of the force's most senior ethnic minority officers he quickly became outspoken on race issues.
    Dizaei gained rapid promotion and also became president of the Black Police Association.
    In 2000 he was investigated for corruption amid claims of taking drugs, using prostitutes, fiddling his expenses and even spying for Iran.
    Two years later he stood trial at the Old Bailey but was cleared of all charges. Supporters accused the Met of conducting a racist witch hunt against him.
    Dizaei won an apology, £60,000 in compensation and promotion.
    Five years later he was promoted again, to commander, but after 12 months he was accused of misconduct and charged, leading to his conviction at Southwark crown court in February. He began his jail term at Wandsworth.
    Married three times, Dizaei has three sons

    Story Three
    Series: Diary of a civil servant

    Previous | Index

    Secret diary of a civil servant: It's August... but the Westminster variety show must go on

    Our man on the inside warns that disaster often strikes when the best acts are off the stage

    Listen carefully and you can hear the sound of a government slowing down. The heavy machinery has ground to a halt and there is just a gentle purring as the civil service quietly does its homework – drafting policy papers to present to ministers on their return. Until Parliament resumes in five weeks, nothing substantial happens. For the most part, the ministers have left the building. They are on holiday, in their constituency, busy doing other things.
    Whitehall largely feels like a normal business, working hard on future projects but free from the tension caused by a government at full throttle. At times, it is almost pleasant.
    But during this quiet period, government must still be seen to be busy governing, talking about positive action, rather than stay silent and be hit by bad news. This was a New Labour obsession and has been embraced by the coalition. To keep up the momentum, minor events are puffed up each day to give the impression that new things are happening. In reality, it is noise about nothing. This is always high risk. When there is little else going on it can easily backfire and spin out of control.
    If politics is showbusiness for ugly people, then government is the ultimate variety show. An assortment of weird and wonderful performers moves on and off stage doing their tricks. The best acts dazzle as the show moves at a furious pace. In August, the best performers are absent. It is left to the less famous and weaker acts to stay on stage for longer, playing to a half-empty house. In short, the B team is running the country. Inexperienced junior ministers are left in charge. New to their briefs, they have to master whatever is thrown at them, take control and know what they are talking about. Disaster can loom like a giant spotlight – at any moment, it can shine a blinding light into a dark corner and expose inadequacy and incompetence. A good performance in the face of such challenges can boost a career, but a bad one can end it.
    Last week, it seemed that the show's best act had become its weakest performer. The PM is making mistakes wherever he goes. The Foreign Office is lurching from crisis to crisis, thanks to his new blunt foreign policy. Diplomats are confused, forced to re-evaluate their existence. They have spent centuries mastering the fine art of diplomacy and evolving a language within a language where there are 13 opaque phrases to describe a bilateral meeting that went badly.
    Now they are unsure. Is the new plan to stop being diplomatic and instead make bold, insulting statements alienating everyone? The resulting furore has been painful to watch.The reality is that very bad things do happen in August. Even monumental events that become etched into the public consciousness – the Omagh bombings, Soham murders, Hungerford shootings and the death of Princess Diana. All of them smashed the summer calm.
    August is a dangerous time for any government. Defences are down and it is vulnerable; cracks can easily be exploited. Clever opponents can work this to their advantage and bombard the government with carefully co-ordinated attacks. But this is often limited to small probing manoeuvres. Why waste your energy when the audience is elsewhere?
    Instead, this feels like the calm before the storm. The opposition and public sector unions are no doubt biding their time and waiting for the autumn. After the spending review, when the true scale of public sector cuts become clear, and the cold weather sets in, it will be easier to stir
    Oh what a tangled web we weave ?
    Last edited by ianstone; 08-08-2010 at 05:35 PM.
    Stay low and move slow !

  2. #2
    Warrant Officer
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Repeat after me:
    Politician. Rope. Streetlight. Some Assembly Required.

    Sadly, that's pretty much what you're left with in the UK at this point. The US isn't much farther behind in that regard.


    ianstone (08-09-2010)



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