CPS loses second race bias tribunal

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The Independent Online
THE CROWN Prosecution Service was found guilty of race discrimination and victimisation yesterday in a judgment likely to trigger an investigation by the Commission for Racial Equality.

The case, brought by a senior prosecutor, Maria Bamieh, is the second finding of racism against the CPS in eight months. The employment tribunal found that the CPS promotion board, in considering Mrs Bamieh's application for a management post, had conducted its "interviews and marking system in a subjective manner", had "abandoned guidelines", and marked her file with the words "extra care". They also found a superior had noted she had given poor advice in a rape case, whereas she had given no advice at all.

The commission's "legal committee" of commissioners is considering whether to take formal action against the CPS. The commission can order disclosure of documents and subpoena witnesses.

Ms Bamieh said some CPS lawyers were racist in the handling of cases. "There was one case mentioned during the tribunal where a lawyer had marked a black defendant's file `playing the race card'."

The CPS said it took the decision "very seriously" but needed more time to consider it to give a full response.

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