International

UK Court rules a suspect in a criminal investigation has reasonable expectation it will be kept private

A UK court has ruled that the reporting by the BBC of a police investigation (which was later closed without prosecution) into Cliff Richard and televised search of his home using a helicopter flying above it violated the right to privacy flowing from Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. While the judgment does not mean that that right to privacy in  criminal investigation can never be displaced (and there will be balancing factors to consider in individual cases) the result is welcome news to anyone finding themselves under Police Investigation.  As the judge in the case observed: “As a general rule it is understandable and justifiable (and reasonable) that a suspect would not wish others to know of the investigation because of the stigma attached. It is, as a general rule, not necessary for anyone outside the investigating force to know, and the consequences of wider knowledge have been ...

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Sectors

Significant jail term in Edinburgh construction works bribery case

By Tom Stocker, Partner, Corporate Crime & Investigations, Pinsent Masons LLP Yesterday, two former employees of Edinburgh Council and two directors of a construction company received significant jail sentences for bribery contrary to The Public Bodies Corrupt Practices Act 1889 (the legislation that pre-dates the Bribery Act 2010). The council employees helped award contracts to Edinburgh Action Building Contracts Ltd (ABC Ltd) and in return they received extensive hospitality including corporate seats at Hibs and Hearts football grounds, meals out and visits to lap dancing bars as well as cash.  Invoices were then inflated to cover the cost of the hospitality. The charges related to the maintenance of council buildings from 2006 to 2010. Council worker Charles Owenson was sentenced to 4 years and 4 months for accepting bribes. The sentencing Sheriff considered that, despite Mr Owenson's guilty plea, the plea-in-mitigation put forward on his behalf  demonstrated that Mr Owenson had not accepted ...

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News & what’s on

Serious Fraud Office raids triple

The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) launched 30 property raids to gather evidence for its ongoing criminal investigations (ie before prosecution takes place) in the previous 12 months year ending March 31 reported here and in the FT.  The number is more than triple the number of the same raids undertaken the year before and more than at any time in the preceding five years. The SFO is adopting an increasingly aggressive stance in its investigation and pursuit of white collar crime and the over tripling of the number of searches undertaken in connection with its active investigations before prosecution confirms that.  However, raids carried out by the SFO’s Proceeds of Crime division fell to zero over the same period. In parallel SFO statistics show that in the 12 months year ending March 31 (the same year the Proceeds of Crime division conducted no searches) it obtained Proceeds of Crime orders amounting to ...

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Bribery Act & Proceeds of Crime

Roll up, roll up…House of Lords Bribery Act Committee calls for evidence on Bribery Act & Deferred Prosecution Agreements

The House of Lords has begun a wide review of the Bribery Act which will also encompass the impact of Deferred Prosecution Agreements.  Noting that “a number of cases have already reached the Court of Appeal” the House of Lords Committee webpage notes that “Now is an opportune moment for post-legislative scrutiny”and cites the areas the review will look into as being:   The effectiveness of the Act; Whether there has been stricter prosecution of corrupt conduct, a higher conviction rate, and a reduction in such conduct; The impact of the Act on SMEs; Deferred Prosecution Agreements in relation to bribery Chair of the Committee Lord Saville of Newdigate said: "Concerns over whether the Bribery Act 2010 is effective need to be examined now. The Committee seeks to assess the effectiveness of the legislation and the impact it is having, as nearly all corrupt conduct is now prosecuted under it. The Committee will welcome submissions ...

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Monday, July 23, 2018 10:03

UK Court rules a suspect in a criminal investigation has reasonable expectation it will be kept private… https://t.co/CaV8n2VLsu

Monday, June 25, 2018 14:08

Roll up, roll up…House of Lords Bribery Act Committee calls for evidence on Bribery Act & Deferred Prosecution Agre… https://t.co/7G3eXKbT7O

Wednesday, June 6, 2018 9:13

Opinion: New Serious Fraud Office Director Appointment reflects Americanisation of UK Corporate Crime Enforcement a… https://t.co/F7pRFyNPZy

Monday, May 21, 2018 7:21

Lords to review Bribery Act over its burden on SMEs via @FT
https://t.co/udoKSqP8xa


Your Questions: Answered

My company has entered into contracts with FIFA. Should I be doing anything?

Question My company has entered into various contracts over the years with FIFA.  I read with alarm last week the news stories about the arrests of FIFA officials in Switzerland. The US has signalled more arrests are likely and the Swiss prosecutor is also investigating. Should I be worried that my business may be drawn into the FIFA investigation and should I be doing anything now? Yours, Anon. The short answer Expect more revelations.  So far the enforcement action in the public domain focusses on the alleged bribe recipients – expect the suspected bribe payers to be targeted next and under the full glare of publicity. A head in the sand approach is never the best option. Businesses who have negotiated licencing deals etc. with FIFA would be well advised to run some basic checks (speak to a lawyer before you do to make sure the checks don’t create legal problems) to confirm their deals are not tainted. The longer ...

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