SFO chief calls for wider powers in fraud cases
Sunday 13 September 1998
Rosalind Wright is expected to use a keynote speech at the conference at Jesus College, Cambridge, to argue that judges in such cases should be given powers to close down apparently fraudulent companies and freeze assets before criminal charges are laid and to ban or blacklist errant company directors from all commercial and financial activities.
She is also likely to suggest judges be given additional powers similar to those currently held by City regulators and greater powers to award compensation to fraud victims.
Her recommendations will include an end to jury trials for complex fraud cases and their replacement by a judge sitting with a specially qualified lay member, perhaps with a banking or accountancy background.
Mrs Wright is understood to feel the criminal justice system needs to be updated to deal with 21th century business practices and problems.
More than 900 delegates from around the world will be at the symposium to discuss ways of tackling crime against governments and abuse of the world's financial markets.
Corruption and the potential threat to national security caused by organised crime are among the topics to be discussed by high-ranking officials, police officers and diplomats
Mrs Wright's comments are likely to re-open the debate on jury trials for fraud and come as the Law Commission prepares a report on the future of the country's fraud laws and the Home Office considers proposals for abolishing jury trials in complex fraud cases.
Mrs Wright is expected to say that the laws and criminal justice system have not kept pace with changes in commercial practices.
The Serious Fraud Office was set up 11 years ago, after the Roskill Commission first raised criticisms of the jury system for complex fraud cases in 1985.
Mrs Wright is expected to suggest that existing laws and offences, sometimes set out in arcane language, can make cases almost incomprehensible to a jury.
As a result, trials are long and difficult to manage, with pressure on both prosecution and defence to slim them down and so deny a jury the opportunity to review all the evidence.
She is thought to favour the additional powers recently given to the Financial Services Authority, which can order anyone breaching the rules to repay profits and compensate their victims.
The FSA will also have powers to launch criminal prosecutions for breaches of money- laundering regulations and insider dealing.
- 1 Stolen Instagram photo sells for $90,000
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 UK's biggest male rape charity Survivors UK has state funding slashed to zero despite 120% rise in men reporting sexual violence and seeking help
- 4 'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
UK's biggest male rape charity Survivors UK has state funding slashed to zero despite 120% rise in men reporting sexual violence and seeking help
Priest warns pupils the 'Charlie Charlie Challenge' is 'demonic activity'
'Don't blame all men for rape' campaign backfires spectacularly
Iran launches anti-Isis cartoon competition 'to expose true nature of Islamic State'
Fifa corruption arrests: Sepp Blatter 'quite relaxed' and confident he is 'not involved'
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
iJobs Money & Business
£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...
£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...