MP to be tried in fraud case

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The Independent Online
THE LABOUR MP Mohammed Sarwar is to stand trial in Edinburgh next month on fraud and other charges, prosecution officials in Scotland said last night.

Mr Sarwar, 46, a businessman who became Britain's first Muslim MP when he was elected in May last year, is to stand trial with another Glasgow businessman, Mumtaz Hussain, the Crown Office said.

A brief statement said the two men had been indicted for trial at the High Court in Edinburgh on 2 November.

Mr Sarwar is charged with fraud, attempting to pervert the course of justice and contravening a section of the Representation of the People Act 1983. Mr Hussain is charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Officials said copies of the indictment were not being made available to the media at this time in line with "policy and practice".

They said proceedings were "active" in terms of Contempt of Court considerations.

Mr Sarwar, a member of the Labour Party since 1984, served as a councillor in Glasgow, and also on Labour's Scottish Executive.

A self-made millionaire, he lost in his first attempt to win selection as candidate for Glasgow Govan, but later won a re-run of the selection ballot. The election campaign for Govan was bitterly contested.

After Mr Sarwar's victory in the 1997 general election, which propelled Labour to power, there were allegations of electoral irregularities.

Mr Sarwar appeared in court in Glasgow in December last year, was committed for further examination and was then given bail.

Mr Hussain appeared in Glasgow Sheriff Court on Tuesday of his week.