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Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by Guest on 12.04.10 22:50

Expenses MPs Devine, Chaytor and Morley get legal aid

Mr Morley, Mr Chaytor, Mr Devine and Lord Hanningfield deny the charges
Three former Labour MPs facing criminal charges over their expenses will have their legal fees paid by the taxpayer.

David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine will receive legal aid, an HM Courts Service spokesman confirmed.

Tory peer Lord Hanningfield, who also faces charges, has not applied for legal aid. All four deny the charges.

The former MPs have got legal aid under an outgoing "interests of justice" test as they may face prison if convicted. The decision is made by the court.

When asked after a visit to a Cheshire car plant whether MPs facing expenses charges should get legal aid, Prime Minister Gordon Brown did not answer.










But Chancellor Alistair Darling told Sky News he was "puzzled" by the award of legal aid to the MPs, and acknowledged the public would be "hopping mad" over the decision.

Conservative leader David Cameron said granting legal aid to the MPs was a "complete outrage" and promised to review the system.

Shadow schools secretary Michael Gove said the news was a "slap in the face for every decent taxpayer in this country".

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said people would be "dismayed" that taxpayers' money was being used to defend these allegations.

'Interests of justice'

The HM Courts Service spokesman said an application for legal aid for the three men was granted on Friday.

Mr Justice Saunders will hear their case during a two-day hearing at Southwark Crown Court from 27 May.

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said that officials applied the "interests of justice" test to determine whether the MPs should receive legal aid.

The test says if a defendant is at risk of losing his or her liberty - that is, they could go to prison if convicted - then they are entitled to legal representation paid for by the state.

CRIMINAL LEGAL AID
Individual courts decide who to aid "in the interests of justice"
Means testing trials being rolled out across England and Wales
In the future, applicants earning more than £283 per month or with £30,000 in assets will contribute
Courts can order defendants to repay part of their defence after a trial
Total repaid by defendants in last financial year after a judge's order at the end of a trial: £1m
Total legal aid budget: £2.1bn
The "interests of justice" test began to be phased out in January to be replaced by a means test for all Crown Court cases in England and Wales - but Southwark Crown Court is not yet part of the new scheme, so it did not apply to the MPs.

Justice Minister Jack Straw told the BBC: "It is simply a matter of chance that [the means test] is yet to be introduced in Southwark, where the former MPs are being tried.

"Decisions about legal aid are made by the courts, and MPs and ministers have no control over the award of legal aid in individual cases."

However, if the MPs are convicted the trial judge could order them to pay back all or some of the costs of the case.

The MPs - who have instructed barristers to argue their cases - have all been suspended by the Labour Party, while Lord Hanningfield has been suspended by the Conservatives.

All four are accused of theft by false accounting and if found guilty, face a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.

Police began investigating after details of all MPs' expenses claims were leaked to the Daily Telegraph.

The men's lawyers have said that they intended to argue that they should be dealt with by Parliament rather than the courts because their actions were protected by parliamentary privilege.

Privilege traditionally guarantees MPs and peers immunity from slander laws for statements in parliamentary debates and also relates to access to parliamentary buildings.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8616261.stm


Taking the pi** or what!!

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Re: Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by kary on 12.04.10 23:03

Absolute disgrace

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Re: Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by littlepixie on 13.04.10 0:17

I thught you had to be on benefit to legal-aid??

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Re: Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by Laffin Assasin on 13.04.10 0:45

Kary and little pixeie, you've both missed the "crux" of the point, I believe.

I've had "legal Aid" in the past, to fight a seven year "war" with an insurance company. I won.

I't's not as simple as the initial post makes out.

What is simple, is getting "lawyered up" before the accusations or battle begins, ala McCann's.

Apparently. and I must stress that point, Morley was on "suicide watch" at one point.

Now, he is in "serious shite" he's entiled to a defence, I agree with that principal whole hartedly.

Mind you, he didn't have the "nut's required" to "SUE" me !! lol

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Re: Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by kary on 13.04.10 1:47

@Laffin Assasin wrote:Kary and little pixeie, you've both missed the "crux" of the point, I believe.

...

Apparently. and I must stress that point, Morley was on "suicide watch" at one point.

.....

I agree with the principle of legal aid.

But this is a 'special case' - Morley has defrauded the taxpayer; the taxpayer funds legal aid. So the victim should fund Morley's defence?? And is conveniently being tried in a district that has yet to sign up to means testing?? In this case, it was down to the Judge.

Suicide watch is also funded by the taxpayer.

So how much money is the taxpayer/victim expected to fork out here - to 'protect' Morley (and the others) from the Law??

Sorry, but have little sympathy for someone who has abused his position (on a good salary) and the system.

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Re: Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by Laffin Assasin on 13.04.10 2:37

They are "all at it" it's what happens when "spivs" get into positions of power, with out responsibility.

My "experience" of the legal aid situation, was quite a few years ago, many years ago to be precise.

If Morley and crew, get found "Guilty" the judge can order a contribution to legal costs and invoke the "Proceeds of Crime Act" so my legal "experts" claim.

The case could be classed as "unusual" as the defendents are trying to invoke "parliementary privalidge" as a "first line" of defence, this needs to be "tested" in a "Crown Court", not a cheap option, by anyone's measure.

Personally, I'd like to see them "banged up" for a few years, ala Archer and Aitken, but they do have the right to a fair and legitimate "trial".

I suspect they are the "sacrificial lambs" from a totally corrupt regime anyway. If i may be so bold as to offer my opinion.

laughat

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Re: Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by aiyoyo on 13.04.10 7:16

Does it mean yu dont have to be mean tested to be entitled to legal aid?

In other words, even Sir Richard Branson or Sir Philips Green is entitled if they so inclined to apply in that sort of eventuality? HA!!! Mad or what?

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Re: Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by kary on 13.04.10 8:19

Means testing was "rolled out" from January this year (I think) - Southwark has yet to participate, I understand. But, "The means test will establish whether an applicant is financially eligible for legal aid. It considers income and expenses. Capital is not included."

Anyway, I think it's despicable what the MPs have done - and been caught doing. It makes you wonder what they've got away with, though.

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Re: Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by justagrannynow 1 on 13.04.10 10:24

I always thought that eligiblity for legal aid restricted the legal teams which were available to the defendant. Sky news are reporting that the legal costs to the taxpayer could be anything from six figures to £3 million. Does this mean the accused can select their own legal representatives, regardless of cost ?

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Re: Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by kary on 13.04.10 12:29

They're anything but transparent about cost reimbursement

http://www.legalservices.gov.uk/criminal/current_payrates.asp#current

I think the solicitor has to be registered with the Legal Aid scheme, but after that...... who knows??

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Re: Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by Laffin Assasin on 13.04.10 14:00


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Re: Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by Pascal on 13.04.10 14:12

I think we should have a fund to help our MP's out. They're lovely, kind, honest people. Goodness me, they were paid a mere pittance and we expected them to survive with only one house, no lunch or duck island.

Come on. Stop being so mean. big grin

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Re: Expenses MP's get legal aid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Post by kary on 13.04.10 18:06

@Laffin Assasin wrote:They are "all at it" it's what happens when "spivs" get into positions of power, with out responsibility.

My "experience" of the legal aid situation, was quite a few years ago, many years ago to be precise.

If Morley and crew, get found "Guilty" the judge can order a contribution to legal costs and invoke the "Proceeds of Crime Act" so my legal "experts" claim.

Very true re contribution to legal costs but "invoke the "Proceeds of Crime Act"" - just means that what he fraudulently obtained (or what's left of it) is confiscated under a court order??

@Laffin Assasin wrote:The case could be classed as "unusual" as the defendents are trying to invoke "parliementary privalidge" as a "first line" of defence, this needs to be "tested" in a "Crown Court", not a cheap option, by anyone's measure.

Personally, I'd like to see them "banged up" for a few years, ala Archer and Aitken, but they do have the right to a fair and legitimate "trial".

I suspect they are the "sacrificial lambs" from a totally corrupt regime anyway. If i may be so bold as to offer my opinion.

laughat

Parliamentary priviledge my @rse! I rather think Community service might also not go amiss - in addition to a bit of R&R at HM Pleasure (and at taxpayers' expense, of course). Couldn't we sacrifice the lot?? nails

Be as bold as you like in offering your opinion lol!

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