Monday, 26 April 2010

Expenses Claim MPs: Pre-Trial hearing

In the Crown Court, there is often a need for either preparatory or pre-trial rulings.  In either case, under the Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996, there are strict reporting restrictions .  Such restrictions are thought necessary to ensure a fair trial.  The MPs charged over their expense claims will almost certainly benefit from these restrictions in that the hearing scheduled for 27th and 28th May (before Saunders J) will not be reported.  Under the Act the judge may decline to impose reporting restrictions or may impose them to a specified extent.   Therefore, the accused men are being treated according to proper pre-trial procedure laid down by law.  Certain appeal rights exist so it may be that this case will not actually be tried until late 2010.

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