Attorney General Baroness Scotland's former housekeeper charged

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The Independent Online

The former housekeeper of Attorney General Baroness Scotland was today charged with a string of immigration offences, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Tongan Loloahi Tapui is accused of using a false passport, fraud and overstaying her visa.

She was charged as she answered bail today and will appear before City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on December 7.

Tapui's husband, Alexander Zivancevic, was cautioned for assisting unlawful immigration. He will face no further charges, the CPS said.

Tapui could be sentenced to up 10 years in prison for the fraud offence if found guilty at the Crown Court.

The maximum sentence for holding a false passport is two years in jail and for overstaying a visa six months in prison and a fine of £5,000.

Lady Scotland sacked her housekeeper on September 16 after she was confronted with newspaper reports suggesting Tapui had no right to stay in the UK.

The country's chief law officer was later fined £5,000 after admitting she hired a foreign national working illegally.

She apologised and was backed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown despite calls for her to resign.

Tapui, 27, of Sutton Court Lane, Chiswick, west London, was released on bail today after being charged.

Simon Clements, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: "Following an investigation by the UK Border Agency, I received a file of evidence on November 9.

"I have decided there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to prosecute these offences."