Tuesday, August 12, 2008

LibDem Donor Granted Legal Aid

LibDem conference planners will not be happy this morning. The trial of their biggest ever donor, Michael Brown, starts on 15 September, the Monday of their conference. Brown has jumped bail and was not in court yesterday when the date for the trial was set.

Astonishingly, the court granted Brown legal aid to cover the cost of his defence. Perhaps the LibDems might like to take the burden off the taxpaper and contribute to this defence via the £2.4 million they accepted from him? Is that a flying pig I spy?

Full story HERE.

15 comments:

Madasafish said...

The LibDems received £2.4 BILLION?

Lucky them.. or a typo?

Iain Dale said...

Oops. Corrected!

Rohan said...

Come on Iain surely you don't think he should be denied a fair trial? And as he is now a bankrupt how else can he mount any sort of decent defence but without legal aid? No doubt there is a bench warrant out for his arrest, and when the police catch up with him no doubt he will be enjoying a spell as a guest of Her Majesty.

neil craig said...

Iain legal aid is a right, assuming his money is as missing as he is. I suspect it will not get him the best barrister possible but then both sides will be just going through the motions now. Nonetheless such motions should be gone through since the impartiality nee blindness, of the law is important.

What happend to that Tory gonor who owned Polly Peck?

Anonymous said...

It'll be a busy week - your former PPC Watford Ian "Slash the tyres" Oakley will be sentened the following day.
http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/3572043.Tory_facing_jail_term/

Stephen Glenn said...

Michaekl Brown is this another way for him to try changing his name in hidding.

Not your day for the facualitie is it Iain?

Alex said...

As I understood it, the Electoral Commission had reserved judgement on whether the donation was permissible, and had said that they wouldn't do any thing while the matter was sub judice for fear of being found in contempt of court (ha! ha! a High Court judge has already said Brown's business was a sham and had never traded).

So perhaps the EC might exercise its right to confiscate the £2.4 million to repay the public purse.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but a previous mention of EC made me think of the EU and our beloved French President going to grovel to, oops, sorry I meant, tell the Russian Presidents (Putin + other) to do what they had already decided to do. What was that? - why to widen the Franco-German axis's separation from the USA in NATO.

Where was Jonah in all this?

Anonymous said...

Apostrophe Police says: There is no requirement for a defendant to be present for a PCMH (a plea and case management hearing) though it may be in his interests to be present. It is simply a court hearing for timetabling the steps to trial and dates etc.

Ron Todd said...

What is the chance that he will suddenly discover a forgotten pile of money once he gets out of jail.

Anonymous said...

Legal Aid in criminal cases is no longer means tested. Hasn't been for years. It doesn't matter how much money he's got, he's still entitled to it.

Ron Todd said...

Anonymous.

I am not so sure about legal aid. I suspect that I am neither poor enough I am in low-ish paid work, nor rich enough,I cannot like a millionair footballer recently, to get legal aid.

If it was not means tested everybody would be entitled to a team of lawyers at tax payers expense and with the level of crime we have these days, even with many of them being let off with an on the spot fine we could not afford that, not with what lawyers cost. Some of them get paid almost as much as TV presenters.

Anonymous said...

Ron Todd

Well, you're partly right - they re-introduced means testing in the Magistrates Courts in 2006, partly because of some high profile cases where it had been granted to rich defendants including (funnily enough) a footballer... So if you want free representation, make sure you do something serious enough to get you into the Crown Court, where everyone can be represented for nothing. The reasons are quite complex and actually rather sinister - don't get carried away with the idea that the government is being generous with your money (I'd elaborate but it's all a bit O/T for this post)

Bert said...

Maybe the Lib Dems will have a lentil and wheat grass social event in someones garage to raise enough cash to look after him. Without him all those printers who use veg oil in the printing process to make their leaflets degrade quicker (paper not content this time) will go bust.

Ahh bless the Lib's no hope of anything really...

Norfolk Blogger said...

I assume Iain that the Tories would be happy to repay every penny they ahve ever received from someone who subsequently went bankrupt ?

Oh, and did the Tories who ripped off Westminster Council ever repay the surcharge that they were suppoed to ?

And presumably Ian Oakley will repay the Lib Dems in Watford for all the criminal damage he has pleaded guilty to causing to them.